This year the celebration of Christmas is going to be so different for millions of people around the world because of the Pandemic. But we have now entered the period of Advent and, although it’s with a sense of uncertainty, people are making plans and preparations and buying things to celebrate this special season.
As we make our plans, however limited they may be, let’s not forget those for whom this will be a particularly difficult time coping with fear, loneliness, the loss of loved ones, employment, livelihood, and homes. May we be able to bring help, support and encouragement wherever we can.
Traditionally, the four weeks leading up to Christmas are recognised as a period of waiting and preparation. We prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus (His first coming), but we also wait for His return (His second coming). As we look forward to Christmas this year, let’s not allow the present circumstance to distract us from the marvellous message that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Timothy 1:15). God so loved us that He sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us.
As we look again at the crib and the wonderful gift of God to mankind and what it led to on the cross, let’s remember that was not the end. Advent gives us the opportunity to think about the second coming of Jesus, and many things which are happening around the world seem to indicate that the day of His return is not too far off.
May this Advent be a time for us to take our eyes off our immediate circumstances and look beyond the pandemic with its struggles and uncertainties. Instead, may we look forward to His return with excited anticipation. This is a time to reset our focus on the truths we can celebrate, and what ultimately lies beyond. Jesus is coming again. Let’s prepare for that.
Paul gave this exhortation to Titus, ‘We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ will be revealed’ (Titus 2:12b).
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for coming to earth to demonstrate the love Your Father has for each one of us. Thank You that You are coming back. Please help me to be ready for You and please help me to encourage others to be ready also. Amen.
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