hope – the second advent
The first week of Advent deals with Hope. We dealt with this issue tonight in our youth service. In studying and preparing for tonight’s message, I’ve been struck by the idea that the First Advent (and our celebration of it) points toward the Second Advent of Christ.
Instead of just taking this time to remember Jesus’ birth and what he has done for us. It’s essential and appropriate for us to recognize what He will do for us and for creation when He returns.
I mention creation because Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension wasn’t done just so we (individuals) could experience wholeness and redemption, but so that ALL things could be brought under His authority.
In fact, we are already experiencing this redemption, though it will only be fully realized at the Second Advent. Sometimes we make our faith out to be some future experience or transformation. Instead of embracing forgiveness, redemption and new life, we tend to make it something that we’ll either get around to when the conditions are right, or when God intervenes in our lives. The proper perspective is to realize that God’s promises are given to us for our current situation. His Second Advent isn’t an event that suddenly brings these things about. It’s an event where His Church steps into the fullness of the reality they have already begun to experience.