“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, NKJV).
As a non-denominational, charismatic believer in Jesus, beyond the occasional mention of Advent growing up, it really never was anything I considered. I knew and firmly believed in the Enunciation, the Virgin Birth, Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection and His soon return. And yet, within the subject of the Advent lies the hopes and dreams of all mankind.
This is what the prophet Isaiah foretold approximately 700 years before the coming of Jesus. Because God works all things according to His own wisdom and sovereignty, it may be as enigmatic to you, as it is to me why so many years would pass before the fullness of time would come. What we do know is the above passage prophesies hope to a hurting people.
At the time of Jesus’ coming, most did not recognize Him. The Hope of the world was here and to the majority of the people, He came and went without notice. God always requires faith for the release of His power in our lives. To the people He was sent to, the requirement was the same.
What I find interesting about the season of Advent (the four Sundays leading up to Christmas) is the definition of the word itself. Advent means “Coming.” As a Christian, while this world offers many distractions, the idea of Jesus’ coming has always fascinated, even inspired me. It was He who saved me – through my faith in Him, and to Him I will give an account of the life He gave me to live.
The first Advent certainly came to pass – Jesus came and left the most enduring, dynamic mark on mankind than any other person. Make no mistake, He will come again! “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.” (Revelation 1:7, NKJV).
For those who believe, His second coming will be a time of hope fulfilled, peace personified and the manifestation of joy. It will also be a time of mourning for unbelievers.
Christmastime is a time where His presence seems a bit nearer; that sense of peace and joy that hovers this time of year. Ephesians 2:14 says, “He Himself is our peace.” He is certainly my peace when I am in despair. His presence brings me joy when I call on Him in faith. The same can be true for you too.
Christmas isn’t just a time of making merry, fighting the endless crowds and trying to find the right gift for everyone on the list, it is a reminder that He came once, and He will come again. If His presence brings so much joy once a year, imagine what it will be like when He comes again…
* * *
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.