We often say, rightly so, that the season of Advent is a time of hopeful expectation, a season of waiting. But what are we waiting for?
Each year we hear sermons or read Advent reflections that are focused on the great joy we should have as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Savior. And while it is true that Advent is a time to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is more accurately the time to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ.
In the words of the Nicene Creed, we pray, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” Jesus himself taught that the day and the hour of his return has not been revealed. The Church, in her wisdom, sets this season aside so that we can spiritually prepare ourselves for the day and the hour of his return.
True, Advent is a time of hopeful expectation; but it is also a season to remain “sober and alert,” remembering that Christ will come again. It is too easy during this time of year to get caught up in materialism, the frenzy of shopping, and all the other negative pressures of the culture. In the midst of the commercial busyness of the season, it is helpful for us to prayerfully consider this reality that the world as we know it is passing away and that Christ will indeed come in glory to judge the living and the dead.