He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:20

Sometimes you know exactly what’s coming.

In October, the morning frost on the grass, the leaves turning from green to gold and red and then beginning to fall, the squirrels gathering and hiding acorns, geese in V-shaped formations flying south—all of these combine to let you know exactly what’s coming. Winter will soon arrive. It’s inevitable.

The latest smartphone is announced. The speculation grows about what amazing improvements and features the new version will include. When it’s released, you know that millions of people will stand in line to replace their smartphones simply because they want to have the latest and the best.

Before Thanksgiving, the decorations appear in the stores and on the streets. Toy shelves are overflowing with this year’s popular new items. A different kind of music plays on the radio. All of the signs and signals are there. The Christmas holiday is approaching. It’s inevitable.

Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) is the season of the church year when we look ahead to the celebration of our Savior’s first coming in Bethlehem. The Christian church has set aside the four weeks before Christmas as a time to look ahead to that day when we remember and thank God for the gift of his Son. It’s a time of reflection and repentance and a time to remember what that first Christmas means for us and for a world of sinners. We light the candles on the Advent wreath. We open the little doors on the Advent calendar. Our children practice for the special Christmas children’s service.

Sometimes lost in the Advent preparation for Christmas is another event to which Advent points us ahead. Advent reminds us of Jesus’ first coming and prepares us to celebrate it. Advent also reminds us of Jesus’ promise to come again—that unknown day and hour when we will see our Savior return, coming not in humility as a lowly child but coming in the clouds in all his vindicated glory.

This Advent season, be filled with joyful anticipation for our Savior’s return. He has promised us that he will return, and, in the darkest times in this sinful world, he enables us in faith and trust and joy to pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Jesus, fill me with anticipation of your coming. As I see the horrors and suffering of the world, lead me to long for you and trust you. Come, Lord Jesus, Amen.

In Preparation for Worship: 
Luke 21:25-36
Genesis 19:15-29

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