Two thousand years ago, God sent His son into the world. It was God’s plan that He be born into obscurity, to a poor family, without privilege or power or fame. Yet it seems that God couldn’t resist celebrating His coming and sent angels to announce His birth to lowly shepherds. Centuries later, Charles Wesley wrote a hymn celebrating His birth—Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Steeped in rich theology, Wesley’s hymn aptly celebrates the most surprising event in the history of the world—when the Creator entered into His creation and became a man. Don’t let familiarity dim the wonder of this amazing event. Christ, the One by highest heaven adored, laid His glory by to bring healing and life to the sons of earth. Glory to the newborn King!
In this season we celebrate the Advent, i.e., the Coming, of Jesus Christ to earth. While we may think primarily of his First Coming to earth, we also ought to consider his Second Coming. A favorite song, Joy to the World, has relevance in the days leading up to celebrating the birth of Christ, but its author, Isaac Watts, wrote it 300 years ago with the Second Coming in mind. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” will be the shout of every Jesus follower on that glorious day when he returns to earth. He comes to judge and reign as King and Lord, and all things will be made right on that day. Joy to the world! Amen.
Our expectations shape our experiences, steer our emotions, and mold our hopes and dreams. But how can we keep our expectations rooted in what is real? This week, we’ll look at a true, hope-filled expectation that we can cling to on our darkest day, as we sing through a beautiful Advent hymn: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.
Jesus Christ has come. And he is coming again. Advent means “coming,” so the Advent season looks both backward and forward to the eternal work of God through his Son. Emmanuel has come. We gratefully remember the past. We patiently wait in the present. We longingly hope for the future.