The beginning of Advent starts this Sunday, and while this holiday tradition has become what many people consider as just another element to the Christmas season, it actually can be viewed as a foreshadowing of the things still to come in our world, including the second coming of Christ.
Many people celebrate Advent by lighting candles to represent the weeks growing closer to Christmas. This is seen as a time of preparation for the coming of Christmas, a representation of the hope and the light that Christ’s birth brought for the world. When you think about it from a biblical standpoint, the birth of Christ was the event of all events that the world was waiting for. The world was dark, and God had been silent for hundreds of years between the Old and New Testaments. The Jewish people had been waiting for the coming Messiah, and the birth of Christ was the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Just as we now celebrate Advent in anticipation of Christmas, remembering how the birth of Christ was the fulfillment of the Savior’s arrival, it actually foreshadows something just as great: Our Lord’s return.
Revelation 22:7 says, “Look, I am coming soon. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
Jesus promises that He is coming soon. And those who keep His Word—which is faithful, true and perfect—will be blessed. Just a few verses later, we see a similar promise again:
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me to give to each one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last,” (Rev. 22:12-13).
Jesus promises that He will be back and He will reward according to what we have done. Even more, He reassures us that He is the Beginning and the End. He knows all, sees all and just as He created the world, He will be there when the end of this age comes.
So, what does Revelation have to do with Advent?
Just as God promised to come to the world to save it, He has promised to come back. Not only can we look back and see the great thing that God did by sending His Son into the world to save it, but we can also look forward to the great thing that will take place when He returns. We not only can look with expectancy at Christmas from the perspective of what’s already happened, but about what will happen.
Second Peter 3:9 tells us: “The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness. But He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”
God kept His promise to bring redemption to the world. He is the God who keeps His promise. Just as He kept His promise before, He will keep His promise to return. In a world where we see growing darkness in our culture, it can be easy to get swept up into the stormy seas of this life. However, that’s not what we’re supposed to do. We are supposed to look toward Jesus and the promise that He has made to come back. He has never broken a promise, and He will not begin now. He will be back.
So, this Christmas season, as you’re preparing and anticipating for the holiday festivities, remember not only to focus on the goodness and light that God has already brought to the world, but look at it from the perspective that God is a promise keeper who can be trusted to keep His promise again. We will see a day where every tear is wiped away and death will no longer persist. God will be true and faithful to keep this Word.
Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.