The first Sunday after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the new church calendar, the beginning of the Advent season. Advent, which means coming or arrival has a two-fold understanding for us. Not only do we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world as a baby, but we look with hope and anticipation to his coming again. Behold! God is doing something new. The old will pass away.
Sunday’s text for the first Sunday of Advent is Luke 21:25-26, a passage with an emphasis on final things, on eschatology. For some, thinking about final things is frightening. But for us who are Christians, eschatology serves to remind us that this world isn’t our home and to look beyond what is presently happening and to look towards heaven, where we will be with Christ and His people forever and always.
Eschatology is an important concept to think about because how the people of God understand eschatology impacts how they live their lives and what to expect to occur in the unfolding plan of God in the Word of God, in Jesus the Christ. And so as we await the arrival of Jesus, we are reminded to be on guard, to be alert, to think about how we are living as we await the return of Jesus.
This week, the first candle of the Advent wreath will shine brightly with the expectant hope for the establishment of God’s justice and the return of the Prince of Peace. Come, Lord Jesus, come!