Advent admonition: Be ready for Second Advent


Since the first promise of deliverance from the bondage of sin (Genesis 3:15), the hopes of God’s people have rested in the Advent of the Messiah. Israelite mothers secretly dreamed her baby boy was the child of hope. Through the centuries the coming Messianic Age became the framework of the prophetic messages that addressed the political and spiritual fortunes of Israel. Unfortunately, the prophecies were misinterpreted to align with Jewish political aspirations rather than focus on a Suffering Servant sent to redeem all mankind from evil. Consequently, despite its miraculous nature and timing, the birth of Jesus was largely ignored by an unprepared and unrepentant people. The message and ministry of Jesus collided with the popular concepts about advent in his day. That confrontation of ideas ended in His rejection and crucifixion.

Today, Christians accept on faith the profoundly simple and yet mysterious story of the Saviour’s birth. The First Advent of Jesus is seen as the historical fulfillment of Old Testament Messianic prophesies. Yet, sometimes our observance of Christmas can also miss the divine purpose in Christ’s coming. For many “believers” the annual holiday reminds them of a cute and quaint childhood story. It justifies excessive celebration and indulgences in giving-to-get. The remainder of the year many live selfishly surrounded by a starving, suffering and sin-sick world. Jesus came to serve (Matthew 1:21; Mark 10: 43-45; Luke 19:10; John 6:38; 13:1-17, 34, 35), and he taught his disciples to do likewise (Matthew 25:31-46).

While on earth Jesus foretold his death, resurrection and return. The promise of His Second Advent sparks the same hope for Christians as the messianic desire did for Jews, and presents similar possibilities for misunderstanding. As did many Jews of old, Christians can fall into the same eschatological snares: (1) In an age of numerous prophetic interpreters and end-time scenarios, we can focus more on the signs than on the person of Christ toward whom they point. (2) We can long for an easy escape from the present realities of life more than being with our Saviour eternally. (3) And when the Second Advent occurs, we can be found as unrepentant and unprepared for the event as were the people in Bethlehem and Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

Prayer for the day: Lord, during this Advent season help us in our search for happiness to find the peace of Christ that He freely gives. May we seek, find, and receive him into our lives. As we have experienced your love, let us fulfill your blessings by loving service to others, that we may be ready for his soon-coming Second Advent. Amen.

The writer is a volunteer chaplain at Wilson Health.

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