We are well in the season of Advent. It is here that we look at the Coming Kingdom from three angles. First we look at it from the angle of Christ’s first coming. It is here that God became human to take back from the evil one what was stolen in Eden. It is here that we contemplate the great God of heaven beginning the work of redemption in this world.
The next angle however is Christ’s second Advent. We look forward with great anticipation to God coming again. As the scripture says, the same Jesus who ascended will come again in like manner. (Acts 1:11). We look forward with anticipation for Jesus to set right all that is wrong in the world. We look forward to Jesus glorious return.
In addition, we must talk about Christ’s coming today. Christ empowering us to live better lives than we could have lived otherwise. Christ forgiving and cleansing us. Christ working through human agencies to demonstrate in small and not so small ways that God has not just left this world on its own. We look to a real Christ making real differences in even this present evil world.
As we preach during this season, let us keep all three of these angles in mind. Then our messages will not become irrelevant by becoming totally about the past (dwelling only on the first advent) or totally about the future (only looking at the sweet by and by). In addition, you will not lose the anchor of the future hope by only emphasizing the present work of Christ in us and for us.
I also must add, that keeping all three of these in mind will help us refocus the season back from the rampant misunderstandings of consumerism to the solid foundation of a God who became human, lives and works presently, and will come again.