The Arrival of the King
The Christmas craziness has begun. There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas music in stores, Christmas lights on houses, cramming for exams, cramming for shopping, cramming to send cards. And on top of that, the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
This Christmas craziness clamors for our attention like a flashy, noisy Santa display. Advent is different. Advent awakens the deepest yearnings of God’s people, connecting us with the past and reorienting our future, as we move toward a soulful celebration worthy of Jesus’ birth. The very word ‘Advent’ is itself filled with ancient potency. It is an English word based upon a Latin word that translates a Greek word, which means “coming or arrival.” A simple word with rich history and meaning. In antiquity, an advent celebration could commemorate the special visit of emperors to a province, and such an occasion often came with elaborate processionals and special coins. Over 2,000 years ago, the advent of Jesus was proclaimed by an angel to a young girl named Mary:
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:28-30)
We celebrate the King of Kings whose First Advent in humility brought salvation to the world, and whose Second Advent in glory will cause every knee to bow and tongue confess that He is Lord. Between the First and Second Advents, there is a third advent: the arrival of Jesus into the daily life of believers. This advent is not stamped on a coin, but upon the hearts of those who believe and hope in Christ.
In the midst of this busy Advent season, may you know that you are highly favored by the King of Kings.
To hear the full sermon on Luke 1, click below.