Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Advent means "coming" or "arrival" so the focus of the entire season is twofold: the celebration of the birth of Jesus in His First Advent, and the anticipation of His return at His Second Advent.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas we are celebrating the most astounding truth about our God, the revelation that in Christ all of creation might be reconciled to Him! We now participate in and are daily affected by that reconciliation, and we long for its final consummation at Christ’s return.
In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. We live "between the times" and are called to be ambassadors and evangels of the gospel that has been entrusted to us.
I hope you will join me every Sunday between now and December 25th as we celebrate God’s breaking into history in the Incarnation, and longingly anticipate the future consummation to that history for which “all creation is groaning.”