16 “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Luke 1:16-17 (ESV)
A word that has increasingly caught my attention over the past several weeks is the word “advent”. It means the arrival of a notable figure, thing, or event. In Christian jargon, it is the time set apart (usually the weeks leading up to christmas) for meditation and preparation for Christmas. Advent. In latin it literally says “ad-venire” or to come. Advent. I thought about how for months we have been repeating at our large group meetings that we are a “church between two advents”- how we are a kingdom in exile awaiting the return of our king! Advent.
And like a freight train it hit me- Jesus is coming.
This thought immediately evoked in me fear. Jesus is coming! The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, divine ruler and just judge of all creation is coming. I felt overwhelmingly unprepared. I still do.
Thank God for advent. We believe it is God’s purpose for us during the coming days to prepare our hearts and minds for His arrival. Isn’t that the essence of the entire christian life? To constantly be preparing for the day we meet our Lord? For His coming? I would like to contend then that Advent is not just a seasonal tradition to be remembered, but a lifelong practice to be exercised by the Christian.
As we are a part of so many discussions and debates in our community (culture vs. christianity, traditional vs. contemporary, older generation vs. second generation), we want to implore the 1F community to look to Jesus. He is our namesake. He is who we must submit ourselves under. And what better time to look to Jesus than Christmas! Over the course of the next few days our prayer is that through the word of God, the Spirit would prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord. That we would not merely be consumers and “rememberers” of the Word, but worshippers in spirit and in truth. That when Jesus comes, we will recognize Him for who He really is.
Jesus is coming soon, and may He find a people ready and prepared.