Oh Come Let Us Adore Him!
Truly it is the most wonderful time of the year when we fix our focus on celebrating Christmas and the coming of our Savior as a baby born in a manger. The season leading up to Christmas Day is called Advent. The Latin word adventus means “coming” or “visit,” and that is exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ did. He came into this world on a voluntary visit to conquer both sin and death so that we might have eternal life. This baby was born to die.
Now the season as it is celebrated in the church today generally begins four Sundays before Christmas and concludes on Christmas Eve. This is a time when we prepare our hearts in anticipation of celebrating the coming of Jesus. It is a time when we both look back and look ahead. We look back and prayerfully consider the longing of the Jewish nation as they long awaited the coming of the promised Messiah. We look ahead for His return in what we call His Second Coming when Jesus will finish what He started and consummate His Kingdom.
There are a variety of ways the church and the individual believer will celebrate this time of joyful anticipation, incorporating Advent themes and symbols in both corporate and private worship, from the lighting of the Advent candles, an Advent wreath, an Advent calendar and the reading of Advent daily devotionals. At The Cross, we intentionally shift our focus on to the season of Advent in light of the myriad of distractions the world offers to shift our focus away from the Reason for the Season.
I am writing this to assist you in sharpening your focus on the coming of our Savior and His promised return throughout the season of Advent, and I want to do it under the heading of The Why of Advent.
The Why of Advent
By way of contrast, let’s first see what it was not. The Why of Advent was not sin. To be sure, we were and are sinners in need of a Savior. In Genesis 3:6 we read, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” But this biblical truth would come under the heading of the What of Advent. What Jesus came to do was to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). What we need to remember is the fact that sin was already in the world before Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
Isaiah 14:12-14 states: “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascent to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” In the words of Jesus, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). You see, sin was already in the world because Satan had already rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven. The writer of Hebrews said, “For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants” (2:16). If sin was already in the world because of the fallen angels, and Jesus did not come to help the sinful and fallen angels, it is clear that the Why of Advent could not be sin. So, what was this Why?
A simple answer
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The answer to the Why of Advent is LOVE! God so loved the world…God so loved YOU! Why our Lord did not run after rebel angels we do not know. Some commentators have suggested they had more knowledge “Light” of God as angelic beings. Other commentators have suggested it was because they were not tempted toward evil. Whatever the reason, one thing we do know. God came into this world out of love for sinful humanity, and that includes you. God sought you, caught you and bought you through the blood of His precious son Jesus, born as a baby in a manger on that first Christmas morning.
So, throughout the month of December, it is my prayer that you will consider this truth and draw near to the One who came into this world because of His eternal and unconditional love for you. Reflect on His love for you, and rest in the fact that nothing can ever separate you from it, not Satan or your sin. Come, let us adore Him this Advent season and every day throughout the New Year. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Tommy Boland is senior pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. He blogs regularly at tommyboland.com.
For more articles by Dr. Tommy Boland, visit goodnewsfl.org/tommy-boland.