Advent and the Kingdom

This weekend marks the first Sunday of the Advent season. Some churches celebrate Advent intentionally, with carols and messages focused on the different themes each Sunday (this Sunday’s theme is prophesy). Other churches section off part of the service to light the Advent wreath and read related scripture passages. Some churches do not connect with Advent at all. Whether or not yours does, it holds significant importance to us, as kingdom workers.

The word ‘advent’ means arrival, i.e. the arrival of a person of significance. In the Christian church, it refers to the arrival of Jesus, first as a baby in Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago, to establish his kingdom; and second, as the King of kings, when he comes to claim his throne and his people.

The kingdom that we work to see grow and fill the earth (Daniel 2:45) began at the first Advent. It will come to its fullness at the second Advent, when Jesus arrives again.

But there is another advent that has played in lives for the last 2000 years, and that is the advent of the Holy Spirit as we come to faith, teaching us, comforting us, empowering us, and sealing us as members of God’s eternal family. This advent continues to happen nearly every second of every day, somewhere in the world.

That is what we are about, as workers for the advance of God’s kingdom. We work and pray daily that the advent of his spirit will come to every person on earth. It is what drives us and empowers us to face each day. It is why we rejoice, why we care, why we love others, just as Jesus loved us. It is why we are willing to lay down our lives, if God should ask it of us.

Advent defines who we are and what we do. Celebrate it with us this month!

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