THE UPPER GAZE OF ADVENT
A Commentary by Constance Vanides
Looking for His Coming
The sky looked particularly interesting that Autumn day. White clouds gradually filled in, replacing an all blue sky. What a variety of clouds they were, too! It was then I looked up and wondered, "In what kind of cloud will Jesus be arriving?|
The Bible provides us with many scriptures of Jesus' coming. Many mainline Christian denominations celebrate the four Sundays of Advent, pertaining to the coming of the Christ Child at Christmastime. However, in my Christian walk I discovered the scriptures of the Advent of our Lord and Savior are not speaking of His incarnation, but refer mainly to Christ's Second Coming.
The prophet Daniel in the Old Testament speaks, "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!"
The same thoughts are repeated in the New Testament:
"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)
"Jesus said to him, 'It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" (Matthew 26:64)
"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory." (Mark 13:26)
"And Jesus said, 'I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'" (Mark 14:62)
"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21:27)
"Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him..." (Revelation 1:7)
" And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man , having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle." (Revelation 14:14)
Christmas, 2008: Christmas cards and dramatic live portrayals of the scene bring to mind that exciting time when the Son of God came to live amongst mankind. The scene is familiar. We look at crèche figurines in a stable, the camels and other farm animals, the guiding star, the "Three Kings" approaching with gifts where the Babe lay in the manger.
We hear carols with lyrics of the "Holy Night" and shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night, when an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, announcing, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." (Luke 2:10) We join with Christian brethren and gather together to sing and praise God for this miracle moment!
And when the story's been told and sung, and we receive it in our hearts, then we can join with those first disciples and look up, anticipating that Advent of Jesus Christ, coming in the clouds, ready to take us with Him in great glory!
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© Constance Vanides