Advent is the Latin word for "coming."
It feels as though every Christmas season goes faster than the year prior, does it not? With commercialism exploding more so every year, the "things" of Christmas can easily become our focus and our goal. I was just thinking the other morning how warm and fuzzy the Christmas season feels, how easily the "things" of Christmas can convince us of happiness and comfort. I see the gleaming lights and instantly feel warm inside. But that feeling is fleeting; there is something more to pursue during this season.
What if our goal during Advent was to know Christ better? Will you join me this season in intentionally seeking out knowing Christ more deeply during Advent? I have been asking myself what that might look like, and I think one of the best ways we can go about seeking Christ in His glorious coming is through Scripture.
The next four weeks until Advent ends on Christmas Day, we will be looking at four passages of Scripture that talk about Christ's coming. His coming may refer to His birth in Nazareth, or it may reference His victorious coming during the last days. Either way, God's Word is rich, faithful and true and will be a lamp to our feet as we seek to know Christ more deeply.
Today, we begin...at the beginning. Turn with me to John chapter 1:1-5, and take a few minutes to read the passage. (If you scroll over the Scripture reference, the passage will pop up in a box.)
Our first question we must answer is: Who is the Word? (Kind of important to know who John is talking about here.) Later on in the passage, we read that the Word "became flesh" and walked with humans. The Word is Jesus Christ.
What we see in the beginning is a picture of the unfathomable, awesome, unified relationship between Jesus Christ and the Father. They are one: "the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (v.1-2). As we seek to know Christ in our daily walks, we can rest assured that, when we learn about the Son, we learn about the Father. They are unified, of the same heart and will.
Why do you think Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"? He declares this because, to truly know God and be reconciled to Him, we must know Christ, the Son to whom He is united. We cannot know God without knowing His Son. This is the unfortunate misstep of many "spiritual" messages in our world, that claim we can "have God" while rejecting Christ. It simply cannot be done. "The Word was in the beginning with God." Isn't that an amazing truth?
We read that "all things were made through him" (v.3). All things. You. Me. The trees, the nations, the mountains, the waters, and the heavens. Everything was made by way of Christ and, therefore, everything is His. He is Ruler and Lord.
Our world clearly rebels against this fact, subjecting itself to prideful waywardness, self-sufficiency and darkness of sin. We should be united to the Word, through whom all things were made and for whom all things were made. Instead we choose sin, forsaking our identity in worldly endeavors, attitudes and escapes. And so we forsake the Word, Himself, the only One who can give life.
But herein lies the great news of His advent.
Verse five reads, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." What does this tell us about Christ? He is our hope. The only One who is righteous light and can save us from ourselves!
In Jesus, there is hope for redemption from grievous sin. Hope for the restoration of all that has been lost. Hope for the strengthening of weary saints. Hope for the glorification of those who have trusted in Christ and wait for His glorious coming. He is our Hope.
Take some time this week to meditate on Christ as your Hope (I've provided some Bible passages below for you to read). Consider in each passage these two questions:
- What would be my reality apart from knowing Christ?
- What works did Christ do to provide His creation with hope?
Ephesians 2:1-10 / Titus 3:3-7 / John 3:1-8 / Isaiah 40:18-31