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Anticipating Momentous Events

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

We're excited about Christmas! We take down boxes carefully put away from last year, containing strings of lights ready to decorate a tree, potted plants, banister or mantle. Colored lights now light up rooms, their brightness and sparkle remind us of Jesus' coming, foretold by the prophets of His light into the world.

    "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

    "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:3)

    "To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:79)

And the gifts! While we scurry around, trying to find the perfect gift for a loved one, we discover God has already given us the greatest Gift of all, His Son, Jesus, come in the flesh, a baby, preparing to reveal Father God to us.

    "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

Christmas is just the beginning. Yet, after the Holidays are over and we've put away the lights, can we also get excited and prepare for His coming again in great power and glory so that all should know Him? Can we then believe with New Testament writers God's words to eagerly anticipate the hope that comes with Christ's soon return?

    "...'Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven'" (Acts 1:11)

    "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night...You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 5)

    "You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." (James 5:8)

    "...looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ..." (Titus 2:13)

    "But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers." (1 Peter:4:7)

    "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is...And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" (Mark 13:33, 37)

    "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him." (Matthew 24:44)

    "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36)

Finally we have Jesus, revealing Himself to the Apostle John and to us:

    "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book...And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work...I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star...And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely...'Surely I am coming quickly.'...Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:7, 12, 16, 17, 20)

If we can get so excited just about taking a string of colored lights out of its box and decorating our homes with lights; with wrapping gifts in colorful paper, ribbons and bows; in remembering others with notes of appreciation, how much more excitement should we have in anticipating the coming again of the One who created and gives us all?

Prepare your hearts. Jesus is coming soon!

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