Jubilee Weekly December 4, 2018

“Reflecting on Advent”
#2 in Series
“Preparing”

We frequently refer to the Christmas season. We could just as easily refer to the advent season.

As we mentioned previously, advent means “coming” and previously we referred to Christ’s first advent when He came as God incarnate (in the flesh) to seek and save the lost. Advent is a time when we look back to His first coming but we also look forward to the day when He will come again. What a day that will be!

Traditionally, advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th. It includes the four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas eve.

Advent is a time of preparation. Most of us know how much effort we put into getting ready for Christmas. There are the cards and newsletters to be written, addressed and mailed. There are the decorations that take time.
Of course, there is all the baking that must take place, getting ready for us to enjoy. Just as Christmas is a time of preparation, so is advent.

We should be preparing our hearts, minds and lives to celebrate the gift of salvation that is ours by receiving and trusting in Christ as our Savior and Lord. I wonder how many of us get so involved in the other preparations
that we forget to take the time to prepare our hearts to worship our Savior.

I think advent should also be a time of penitence. In the busyness of life, we can let time, with our Lord, be crowded out. We can neglect our Bible study and prayer time. We can even get careless about faithfully being in God’s house consistently.

Have we wronged anyone during the year? Have we been involved in business dealings that were not honoring to our Lord? The apostle John wrote “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Advent is also a season of anticipation. In John 14:2-4 Jesus said “in My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

It has been 2000 years since Jesus made that promise. We know we are getting close to the time of His return just by reading inspired statements in scripture and taking the Lord at his word.

The Apostle Paul in Galatians 4:4-5 wrote, “but when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” We should be living daily in anticipation that our Lord might return that very day. Do we manifest the same sense of excitement that children do as they wait to open their gifts? Jesus is God’s gift to us.

Advent should be a time of remembering and meditating on God’s goodness to us. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—-meditate on these things.

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in Me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” We are so entertainment prone that we don’t take the time to think and meditate of the goodness of God. Let this Christmas be a season of hope and meditation.

Advent should be a season of joy. I love the decorations of Christmas. The music of Christmas is wonderful. The smells of baked goods and cooked items is wonderful. The gifts of Christmas are enjoyable. But the greatest reason for our joy and rejoicing is that our Savior was born.

In Luke 2:8-14 we read how an angel appeared to a group of shepherds and an angel appeared and stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them…and the angel said to them ‘Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the lord.

And this will be a sign to you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying ‘glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’’’

Lastly, advent should be a season of light. Jesus is the light of the world. Before He came mankind has lived in a shroud of darkness. But light dispels darkness and now we can see and know Him for who He is and for what He has done for us. In John 1:4-5, we read about Jesus “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

In John 8:12, we have Jesus saying “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Have you come to the light?
Have you received the light?
Are you following the light?
Are you walking in the light?
Let’s each one renew our commitment to live in the light (Jesus), walk with Him and show that light to others.

Glory to God,
Pastor Leonard