This past Sunday, the Advent season began. Advent is a time of preparation and expectation as well as the beginning of our liturgical year. The word is the anglicized term of the Latin word, adventus meaning arrival, visit, or coming. During this season, we remember and reflect on the hope of a Messiah to come foretold throughout the Old Testament, we rejoice in His birth as the Christ-child, and we eagerly look ahead full of the hope of Jesus Christ’s return and all things made right. I hope that you will join me in the celebration of Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah and our Savior.
“… the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Read 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” In the congregation at Corinth, the message of Jesus Christ was heard and believed. Their lives gave proof of the Holy Spirit’s work within them and confirmed to Paul that they embraced the gospel message. In these introductory verses, Paul gives thanks for the work of the Spirit he sees in them and he also instructs them that they lack nothing since they have been enriched in every way in Jesus Christ. He reminds this budding Corinthian church that what they have received will keep them strong in their faith and give them the ability to stand firm and hold fast in faith.
“Therefore, you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait [emphasis mine] forour Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” 1 Corinthians 1:7
They were filled with the hopeful certainty of His return. We, too, lack nothing and have been given all that we need through the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Our faith and hope is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19) Through Jesus, we are fastened securely to God and our hope in Him holds us safely there. This hope gives us the certainty of our Lord’s return.
Read 1 John 3:1-3
The Apostle John speaks of the return of Jesus in these verses. As the children of God, who are the recipients of the lavish love of God, our Father, we should display proof of our hope with our very lives. John states,
“Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:3
Advent is a time for renewal and a time to cleanse ourselves spiritually through confession and repentance. Because of hope, we know that when we approach God and “confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Our lives should shine and display to all that we seek to live, walk, and talk as our Lord Jesus. This Advent, let’s be people who actively pursue purification in preparation for the remembrance of Jesus’s birth. Let us also eagerly prepare and await for the glorious appearing of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13