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One season is ending; another begins.
Advent is upon us.
The calendar is running.
The Big Day is coming.
Are you ready to celebrate Jesus’ arrival?

You’ve called the relatives.
You’ve planned the menu.
You’ve checked each gift off the list.
And all that’s great for after-church Christmas celebrations once Advent wraps up.

But are you ready to celebrate Jesus coming again?

Advent means “coming” or arrival, as in the arrival of a king. The season of Advent which starts the new church year is a time of preparation. We prepare for Jesus’ coming by looking both backward and forward. We look backwards and remember how Jesus came into our humanity through the womb of Mary. He came on Christmas Day so that on Good Friday He could be judged for our sins on the cross.

In Advent we also look forward to the future day when Jesus comes in glory. On that day He will judge the living and the dead, put death and all His enemies under His feet, and take to Himself His bride, the Church. On that day  all who believe will be judged righteous for Jesus’ sake, and all who reject Christ and His forgiveness will be condemned with Satan and all demons. Advent is thus a penitential season as we consider our unworthiness of this gift and give thanks that He freely gives it to us out of love.

But “penitential” doesn’t mean “dreary.” We look forward to the Last Day when Jesus comes again like those kids who’ll wake up with the sun on Christmas morning. All the good gifts our King has promised, He’ll bring. We’ve been looking at the shape of them for millennia; on that day they’ll finally be unwrapped and in our hands. A new life without death and a new world without evil will be ours to enjoy with Him forever.

One world is ending; another world begins.
Christ’s Advent is upon us.
The calendar is running out.
The Last Day is coming.
Are you ready to celebrate Jesus’ arrival?

Art: “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst (1592-1656)
&        “The Last Judgment” by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)