The Search for Christmas - Advent 2015

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Advent—which means “arrival”—is a season of promise and waiting. In Genesis, God made a promise, a covenant with Abraham, to make his family a great nation—Israel—and to bless and restore the whole world through them. But through failure and rebellion against God, Israel ended up in exile, ruled by other nations, far from home and far from God’s promises.

Still Israel held tight to hopes of rescue, that God would be faithful to his covenant. Specifically, they anticipated the coming of a promised Messiah, a King who would lead Israel home and establish peace. We hear this in some songs of the season like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

During Advent, we join in these songs of longing, because today we live in a similar “between.” Jesus, the Messiah has come with the good news that the promise made to Israel is fulfilled in him and extended to all peoples in the new covenant. We now await his second coming when he will gather all creation to himself. We still live in exile—a scattered people in a world in need of restoration.

During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate both the arrival of the baby Jesus at Christmas and his final coming to judge and restore all things. Hold all this in your mind and heart this season as we learn in prayer how to live in waiting, hope in God’s promises, and watch for his arrival.