This week, we begin our season of Advent. “Advent” is from the Latin word for “coming” — translated from the Greek word parousia. Speaking of the second coming of Christ, we find parousia translated in the following passages: Matthew 24:3,27,37,39; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1,8; James 5:7,8; 2 Peter 3:4,12; and 1 John 2:28. Typically, the Advent season reenacts and remembers how the Old Testament saints longed for Messiah to come, but it is appropriate for those of us this side of the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ to look forward to Jesus’ second coming during Advent. It’s for this reason that our theme this year is “How Long, O Lord?” as we meditate on and long for Christ to come again.
We find the phrase “How long, O Lord?” in the book of Revelation, chapter 5, verse 10, where the Christian martyrs cry out to the Lord, How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth? (Revelation 6:10). These martyrs are eagerly awaiting the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Our hearts certainly cry out as well because as we light the first candle of Advent this week, we are awaiting the Second Advent with much eagerness too. God’s faithful waited for Christ to come the first time, and now God’s faithful are waiting for Christ to come again. So, we say to God this Advent season, “How long, O Lord?”
We have no idea how long it will be, but Jesus has promised us that He will come back to receive us unto Himself, and with that promise comes much hope.
We read in John 14:1-6, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
This week, we light the CANDLE OF HOPE. Jesus Christ has come, and He is coming again. He has shown us the way to Heaven and has prepared a place there for all who believe on Him. We don’t know how long, O Lord, but we know Jesus , and we know His promise: He will receive into His glorious presence all who come by faith in Christ.
May your hope be great and unshakeable because it’s founded on Jesus Christ, who is coming again.