During the week I was chatting with a friend and he asked how our plans for the upcoming Europe trip were going. After making a few comments about it, I concluded by mentioning the date we hope to leave and that is when the ‘adventure’ would begin. My friend then noted that the first part of that word is also what we use for this time of the year, ‘Advent’. The definition of ‘Advent’ according to the dictionary is, “the coming into place, view, something exciting about to happen.”
This Sunday is the beginning of the ‘advent’ season, the first Sunday of four, before the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Although I am personally not such a ‘church-calendar’ man, it is good to sometimes remember these specific events, for they too can easily pass us by if we’re not careful. Of course, in some ways, every Sunday should be an ‘advent’ Sunday, for we come together to worship the Saviour who was born of a woman, lived amongst us for thirty-three years and then made the ultimate, perfect sacrifice for our sin. Unfortunately, we sometimes become so used to that good news, that it doesn’t excite us anymore and if we are not careful, it all becomes a little dull and boring.
So it is good to be excited about ‘advent.’ It is good to be excited about the fact that Jesus took a huge step-down from His exalted position to become our Saviour. It’s exciting to know that He became one of us (sin excepted) and made His dwelling with sinful man. It’s exciting to know that Jesus in perfect obedience to His Father, did not think equality with the Father something to be grasped but made himself like us so that He could redeem all those whom the Father has appointed unto eternal life (Phil 2:5ff).
There is nothing dull or boring about those truths, for without Jesus we would have nothing to be excited about. Without Him, there would be no forgiveness of sin, no peace that passes understanding, no eternal life for all who believe. So it is good to be excited about ‘advent’.
Interestingly, the thought of total obedience to the Father, the shame of being ‘cursed’ on the cross outside the city, and the redemption of all the Father has appointed to eternal life, filled Jesus’ with joy as well (Heb 12:2). Despite the fact that the road of total obedience to the Father in heaven meant suffering (Heb 2:10) and abandonment for Jesus, He willing endured, even to the point of shedding his blood and dying an agonising death. Thankfully, death could not hold Him and He rose to be seated at the Father’s right hand, a place of absolute authority.
I am not too sure what exciting adventures you are planning over the Christmas season. Whatever they may be, may our excitement about Jesus’ coming never diminish, but cause us to look forward with the same excitement to His second coming. JZ
Pastor John Zuidema
Since 1997 Pastor John has been ministering to Churches across Australia and New Zealand.