Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the first of four Sundays prior to Christmas. In the last few years I haven’t preached Advent sermons, but I have taken either the confession exhortation or the communion meditation for a little series in preparation to celebrate Christ’s birth. Last year during our confession you may remember #NoDiscontentDecember as a theme for our family that I shared with you all.
This year I’ll have four Advent meditations for communion, and the first three will follow a familiar pattern: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Christmas is not your mother’s bundle of joy, or ball of stress. Christmas is the Father’s idea of a world-altering gift.
Our Father in heaven came up with the idea of anticipation. That is His narrative invention. With every son born into every family among mankind, hints were given. As far back as Eden, a son would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). A Son would laugh at foolish kinds (Psalm 2:7-12). A son would take the throne (Revelation 3:21). A son would be GIVEN.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government
and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
The incarnation of the Son was the Father’s plan. Jesus did His Father’s will. The promises and prophecies, the time for waiting and hoping and anticipating, all belong with Advent, both the first and the second.
So watch how your Father in heaven did it. See His love and joy in gift-giving. See what it cost Him, and see how the world is remade by Christmas.