Advent: a season of watching and
waiting on our Lord Jesus.
When the Gospel of Matthew opens, he introduces Jesus as the son of Abraham and David. He arranges Jesus’s genealogy in to three groups of fourteen generations each from Abraham to David, from David to the exile, and from the exile to Jesus. In the same manner, the Gospel of Luke reveals Jesus, the son of Adam as well as the Son of God. A copious of ancient promises have been the basis of their climactic fulfillment. The Gospel of John, crowns this revelation with his depicting Jesus as the pre-existent Word-become-flesh.
These constitute the messianic fabric woven by the biblical writers at the intersection of the story of Israel and the story of Jesus. For those who have embraced the message of Christmas—that Jesus is the virgin-born rescuer of Israel and Savior of the world—this includes their story of redemption received. Their call is to join Jesus in His mission to the world.
Christmas rightly marks the occasion of the long-awaited birth of the Messiah, but there is so much more to Jesus than the day He was born.
Advent enters here. Many ecclesiastical traditions have risen regarding the distinguishing ways of expecting Jesus’s birth. The basic preface of the various Advent traditions is well-grounded: The birth of Jesus’s did not arrive in a vacuum. His coming was the culmination of centuries, even millenniums, of ever-increasing expectation of the coming Messiah and Savior of humankind. With this in mind, the angelic announcement in Luke’s Christmas story in its fuller biblical context is much clearer:
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:10-11 ESV).
This birth is not ordinary; nor is this Child. This is the incarnation of God Himself. His arrival is of the greatest importance in all of history. Now is implemented God’s in-person rescue of His people from sin, suffering, and death. This is far too glorious to confine to only one day’s celebration.
A day as important as Christmas warrants an Advent of four weeks of preparation and wonderment. Certainly we will be in awe for eternity over the coming of God Himself to save His people from their sin, and GAM’s 30 days of devotional readings are a good starting place. —Rick Ginter