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What is Advent? Hope.

Thrill of Hope


Different members of Rockland will be helping us maximize Advent this season in these emails. Today, one of our elders, Steve Hannah, helps us prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of Christ's birth.

What is this season of the year we call Advent? We talk about Advent, and we celebrate it, but what is it really all about? We know Advent introduces the Christmas holidays, we light an Advent candle each week, and we know that Advent celebrates the incarnation of our Lord.

But, Advent is much more than that.

It is indeed a time to prepare for and celebrate the first coming of our Lord, the Messiah, our Savior; but it is also a time for eager anticipation and preparation for His second coming when He returns as our King.

“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42 (ESV)

We prepare aggressively for many things in our life – our careers, our family’s welfare, our retirement; and we should prepare even more earnestly for Jesus’ return. Why?

Because there is so much more at stake.

When we make bad choices and decisions in our personal lives, we may have momentary regrets that usually soon fade away. However, I cannot begin to imagine the regret that a person will experience who is not ready when Jesus returns … horrible regrets for all of eternity … while the Believer who is prepared will be filled with assurance and joy.

So, this Sunday, we light the first Advent candle of Hope, the hope and promise of the King to come. Prepare your hearts for the hope that we have … be ready for the second coming of Jesus Christ through acceptance of the Lord as our Savior, by repentance of our sins, by seeking to live a more Christ-like life. We can facilitate this preparedness through the daily study of the scripture, through continuous prayer, and by allowing the Spirit to fill and take control of our hearts for a right relationship with God.

Be prepared! Jesus has come as our Savior, and He will come again as our King. This is what Advent is really all about, preparing our hearts for this great promise and truth of God’s word.