Words of Worth

Anticipation

December 6, 2013

imagesLast Sunday was the first day of December and the first Sunday of Advent.   It appeals to the logical side of my brain for this to happen simultaneously.  I was anticipating the lighting of the Advent candle at the morning church service and I was not disappointed.   All five candles stood majestically near the altar and the reading that accompanied the lighting was from the book of Isaiah.  How appropriate.

What I didn’t anticipate the next morning in my personal Advent devotional book was a Psalm about Solomon’s kingship and a passage from Matthew about the “last days”.  I was a little confused for a moment.   Wasn’t I supposed to be thinking about baby Jesus and angels and shepherds in the fields being “sore afraid”?  I grew up with the King James Version of the Bible and shepherds will always be “sore afraid” to me.

But Advent (from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “arrival”) is about anticipation and we need to look back in gratefulness for the birth of Christ and forward in hope for His return at the same time.  One commentator I read said we live in the time of “now but not yet”.  Matthew 24:36 says, “But about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father.” 

We don’t know when Jesus will come back but we are to be watchful.  We are to stay in a state of anticipation.  Just like we anticipate Christmas coming every year, we are to look forward to Christ coming again!

Then a verse from James came to mind.  “Do not complain, brethren, against one another so that you yourselves may not be judged.  Behold the judge is standing right at the door.”  (James 5:9) If I knew a Judge was standing right behind a door and I was awaiting a verdict, every sense would on high alert.  My eyes would be glued to that door waiting for the slightest turn of the knob.

It occurred to me then that my Advent readings were applicable to the season.  After all, aren’t we living in a “Second Advent” of sorts, waiting for Jesus again?  Shouldn’t I carry out my duties every day with the idea that He might be ready to appear any second?    How would I live my life with that underlying thought?  What would it look like to live in that state of HOLY anticipation?

Fortunately, I can tell you.  When I was much younger, there was a gentle spirited man in our church who loved Jesus more than anyone I knew at the time.  His name was Gary Davis.  His faith was pure and He lives with Jesus now.  But while he was on earth, he lived in a state of constant anticipation.  Every day, Gary would ask his mother, “Momma, wouldn’t today be a good day for the Lord to come back?”  Then he would watch for Him to come!

As I studied Scripture this first week of Advent, not about the coming of a baby, but a Reigning King of Kings, God brought Gary to my mind to nudge my heart in a better direction.  How about we Advent/anticipate the return of Jesus this year, too?

“Behold!  He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see Him…”  Revelation 1:7

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