Through our whole history, God is always coming to us. However there are two very important and definitive ‘comings’. The first one is the Incarnation (Jesus becomes one of us for our salvation) and the Second is the Parousia (Jesus will coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead). Advent reminds us that the two are linked: what happens to us in the Second Coming depends on what we do with the First Coming.
Jesus warns us during the time of Advent to ‘stay watchful and pray’. (Luke 21:25-36)
Stay watchful and Pray
The only way to remain close to Jesus, to avoid slouching around in ‘spiritual pyjamas’ is to keep vigilant and to pray. We need to turn away from all that makes us spiritually numb and to keep the eternal perspective in our lives. As C.S. Lewis says ‘aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.’
And the God of surprises will keep us in His mercy and grace. The people in the Old Testament prayed this prayer:
You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Why, O LORD, do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance….Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, (Isaiah 63:16,17 64:1).
The God who Comes Close
Would they have ever dream that God would do just that and come to us Himself? He is the God who still comes, who was to be welcomed.
So this Advent season, let’s pray and wait with meaning. Even more, let’s pray and wait with hope. The hope that comes from knowing the closeness of our Saviour.