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WHAT IS ADVENT?
Ready for the Light

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

    “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
The period including the four Sundays before Christmas is widely known as Advent. But I like the description of Advent in The Free Dictionary ...

“The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.”

What could be more “extremely important” than the incarnation of God, born as the human baby Jesus, Son of God, Emmanuel, “God With Us”?

What is known as the First Coming of Christ, was Jesus’ presence in the world bringing the knowledge of God the Father, and ending with His death, burial and resurrection.

And the Second Coming?

    “…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 the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)

The Second Coming is then expected at some indeterminate time when Jesus’ arrival will also be as judge.

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

    “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31, 32) “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)

    “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

I propose yet another Advent, an “extremely important” Advent, to be readied before the Second Coming. It is this: knowing and understanding what we have already read, have you prepared for the arrival of another “extremely important” personal advent-ure?

    “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)

I see this Advent as a personal Pentecost, the reception of the coming Holy Spirit by each person, to be endued with “power from on high.” This is “the promise of My Father” Jesus refers to in Luke 24:49, given to those who most importantly, ask God, the Holy Spirit in us! (Luke 11:13) It is He who points the way to Jesus, giving us at the same time Spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ.

    “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12)

Come out of the darkness, therefore, and present yourself in complete surrender to the King of Kings, the Light of the whole world! Receive Him for yourself!

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