This summer, some good friends who live out of town came to visit us. They’re the type of friends that you may only see every couple of years, but when you get together, it’s as if no time has passed. The conversations are rich and lengthy, full of laughter, and in our case, usually enjoyed over styrofoam containers of the finest Chinese food a delivery man could offer.
We started planning for our short time together weeks in advance, so when the day came, our anticipation level had reached its peak. Our kids waited by the window, eyeing each passing car to see if it carried the faces of our friends. And then finally, they were here. Our visit was everything we expected and hoped for, and of course it was too short and we spoke of when we could get together again. Then, they were gone.
The Advent season is a lot like this for me, and I think it is a reflection of the anticipation God’s people (and even creation) felt in the time leading up to Christ’s birth. Humanity longed for its Creator, for restoration, for rescue, for true life. And then, he was here. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. His time here was more glorious than anyone could have dreamed, and He changed the course of human history forever. And now, we once again wait for him to return...this time to stay.
I recently heard a retuned version of a hymn by 19th-century minister and hymn-writer, Horatius Bonar, called “He Has Come, The Christ of God.” As we celebrate Advent, may these words be a reminder to us of all that Christ accomplished in his coming and all that he will complete when he comes again.
He has come, the Christ of God:
Left for us His glad abode;
Stooping from His throne of bliss
To this darksome wilderness.
He has come, the Prince of Peace:
Come to bid our sorrows cease;
Come to scatter with His light
All the shadows of our night.
He, the mighty King, has come,
Making this poor earth His home:
Come to bear our sin's sad load,
Son of David, Son of God.
He has come, whose Name of grace
Speaks deliverance to our race:
Left for us His glad abode,
Son of Mary, Son of God.
Unto us a Child is born:
Ne'er has earth beheld a morn
Among all the morns of time,
Half so glorious in its prime.
Unto us a Son is given:
He has come from God's own heaven,
Bringing with Him from above
Holy peace and holy love.