as we celebrate Advent--the arrival and birth of our Savior--I can't (at least I shouldn't) help but think about the second Advent. of Christ's return.
do I long for Jesus to come back? yes. but, if I'm honest with myself, there are a lot of moments that my life seems pretty good. sure, there's disappointment, and selfishness, and loneliness, and jobs can be monotonous, and families can be dysfunctional, and I witness the effects of a fallen world daily.
but there are some really good things, too. I mean, I love my kids. and my husband. and I have good friends. and I'm looking forward to seeing family, and celebrating Christmas.
and so when I say, 'come, Lord Jesus' do I mean: "after Christmas morning--because I'm really looking forward to seeing my kids faces and just celebrating with them." or "after I have the opportunity to watch my kids grow up, and be successful, maybe have kids of their own?!" or "after my husband and I have a chance to take that really fantastic vacation we've been planning."?
or do I mean. Come. Lord. Jesus.
like right now. to redeem. and make all things new.
is my view of eternity truly better than this?
when the world was confronted last week with the pain and evil of Newtown, I am reminded that we live in a fallen place, a really fallen place. and all of a sudden Christmas, and the first Advent, means so much more.
so as we sing about the first coming of Jesus, as we declare o come o come emmanuel, it is with all the more fervor that we must think on the second Advent as well. and say--as Wesley penned nearly 200 years ago--come thou long expected Jesus.
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
--Charles Wesley 1744--