By Deacon Jack Robson, Anglican Parish of Last Mountain
December 6, 2023
Many think that Advent is only getting ready for Christmas and all of the preparations that must be made over the next weeks, including the special gatherings, banquets, shopping, presents, Christmas trees, and pre-Christmas celebrations. It is a very busy time of year, of tremendous spiritual importance.
You have read Jesus' prophetic words about the things that are to come, and this was advice to us on His second coming, His triumphant return to earth. Advent is certainly preparation for Christmas and the celebration of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, but also a further reminder that Jesus is returning to earth. This is a certainty; but we do not know the time.
Our Gospel says, "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. Then He will send out the angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth, to the ends of heaven. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But the day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Be aware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come. We celebrate Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere when the nights are long and the hours of sun are few. The light is fleeting.
It is very fitting that we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Light of the world, in the dark days of winter. To us this is the dawn, the Light from on High has come. Just think of the dawn on the first Easter morning in Jerusalem when the angel proclaimed, "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He is Risen!" Jesus' birth and resurrection is the Everlasting Light to the dark, sinful World. Our watch for our Savior will be rewarded.
We see the significance of all times of the day or night in our watch for Jesus' coming, whether it be this Christmas Season and Jesus' birth or the second coming, which could be anytime, even before this Christmas.
In Mark, we hear these words, "When it was evening, Jesus ate His last meal with His Disciples, and tells them, "One of you will betray me!" Could it be, during the Advent Season, during the fading light, if we become totally absorbed in the non-Christian aspect of the Christmas Season and forget the deeper meaning, the true meaning of Christmas, are we then unconsciously betraying our Savior Jesus, turning our backs on Him as did the Disciples on the evening of His betrayal. This would definitely not be faithfully keeping watch for His return.
We will not betray Jesus by forgetting the true meaning of Christmas and put up "Holiday Trees" or wishing our friends "Happy Holidays." We stand on eternal watch for Jesus each and every day, and we are ready when He calls us, whenever He calls us. Jesus is the true reason for the season!!
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