Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Advent for Today

Advent (Latin:  adventus) - a coming, an arrival (notable/significant arrival)

in Christianity - traditionally = 4 (weeks) Sundays before Christmas - leading up TO Christmas, which = Coming of Messiah (Christ) - (Greek word for Messiah = Christ)

in Jewish thought Messiah = THE ANOINTED ONE - who was a man, from God, to deliver, his people (Israel), from oppression!!!  (times when nation was oppressed by various people groups.  In the time of Christ, that was Rome!)

BUT ... God's plan different! 
Messiah =
(1)  an incarnation - ie:  God in human flesh!! - Matt. 1:23, John 1:1, 14

(2) a descent - ie not raised up but Stepped Down!  - Phil. 2:6-8  - was in heaven.  Gave that up to come down to earth.

(3)  a Spiritual Deliverance - Matt. 1:21
This does not exclude physical deliverance ... rather, goes beyond that!  (to eternal deliverance)
Jews thought of earthly oppression.  God came not to just to deliver from earthly oppression.

So Advent = (1) celebration of His (1st) Coming - Christmas
(2)  Anticipation of His 2nd. Coming - Return -  prophesied in the Old Testament
                                                                         promised by Jesus - Matt. 24:30-31
                                                                         pictured in Revelation - Rev. 19:11-16
Will not return in humility of a child, but as a warrior King.

Meanwhile ... we live in "'tween times"
                                       1st. Advent                                                   2nd. Advent

So... beyond "Celebration" ad "Anticipation" ... Advent for Us?  today??

Answer = we pray for a Visitation (another coming) - a coming between!!
Example:  Psm. 44:1-3, 23-26
Spirit of Advent should include:
"Lord come an deliver" - (me, us, them)
from Oppression!!!  (physical, spiritual, emotional)
"SAVIOR" - (deliverer)

The cry recognizes ... (1)  our need    (2)  our inability to meet the need   (3)  His Providence (His ability - to meet need if He chooses)  Example:  Joni Erickson Tada

Specific Examples:  ...."Lord, come and ....
(1) Heal - (physical, emotional, spiritual, relational)

(2) strengthen

(3) Comfort

(4)  Guide

(5)  Reveal  (yourself)

(6)  transform (me)  - example:  Paul - Romans 7

(7)  Establish  (Your Kingdom)

in Summary = "Come and deliver" .... "Come and Save!!!  - "Me!!  Us!!  Them!!!"

New Testament example/illustration - Mark 4:35-41

On one hand - compare  (the situation, dry, deliverance...)

However, we must also contrast!! - Because our "tween time" Visitations tend to be ...
(1) occasional  & (2) underwhelming - miracles are NOT the Norm!!

Nevertheless, we should "Cry out" and we should "have faith" - Psm. 23:4

And we should give thanks!!
Because we Know our Savior,
we Know He is with us whether we feel His presence, whether we see the effects - we are confident of His Presence, Power, Providence....


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