Fifth Sunday of Advent?
This past month, I have emphasized the Advent season and its corresponding themes in my preaching on Sunday mornings. This means that the first Sunday of December, I preached on the theme, "Jesus Christ is the Embodiment of our Hope." On the second Sunday of December, I preached on the theme, "Jesus Christ is the Object of our Faith." On the third Sunday I preached on the theme, "Jesus Christ is the Reason for our Joy." And on the fourth Sunday I preached on the theme, "Jesus Christ is the Giver of our Peace." In Christ there is hope, there is faith, there is joy, and there is peace.
The season of Advent speaks of the coming of Christ, both his first coming as well as his second. Many of our Christmas Hymns speak of aspects concerning both his first and second coming. For instance:
“Saints before the altar bending, Watching long in hope and fear, Suddenly the Lord, descending, In His temple shall appear.” – Angels, From the Realms of Glory
“No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings known far as the curse is found.” – Joy to the World
“For lo, the days are hastening on, by prophet bards foretold, when with the ever circling years shall come the time foretold, when the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their king, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.” – It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
“When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing, at thy coming to victory, let thy voice call me home, saying ‘yet there is room, there is room at my side for thee.’ My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus, when thou comest and callest for me.” – Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne
“Who is He that from the grave comes to heal and help and save? Who is he that from his throne rules through all the world alone?” – Who Is He in Yonder Stall
“In the heavenly country bright, need they no created light; thou its light, its joy, its crown, thou its sun which goes not down; there forever may we sing alleluias to our King.” – As With Gladness Men of Old
The Advent season has been nice to emphasize, but I believe there is warrant to adding a Fifth Sunday of Advent, which is what I did this morning in our morning worship. My theme was "Jesus Christ is the Conquering King," and looked ahead to his second coming, described from Revelation 19:11-16.
Christians today live in between the two advents of Jesus Christ. We are about 2000 years removed from his first advent, and hopefully not too far from his second. We espouse the truths of the Word of God which largely describe his first advent, and we must also look and live with great anticipation of his second.
In his first advent, Jesus came in great humility; in his second he will appear with great authority and grandness.
In his first advent, Jesus wore only a crown of thorns as a mockery to his being a king; in his second he will appear with multiple crowns on his head, indicating supremacy as King.
In his first advent, Jesus allowed his enemies to put him to death on a criminal's cross; in his second he will utterly destroy by the word of his mouth all those who reject him.
In his first advent, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey in preparation for his death; in his second advent Jesus will ride from heaven on a white horse in preparation for his complete and utter victory over Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and all their followers.
In his first advent, the Roman leadership mockingly referred to him as the King of the Jews; in his second advent, he will come with the name for all to see, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS!
As this season of Advent comes to a close, let us commit ourselves to the cause of the King, to yield ourselves to his will, to immerse ourselves in his word, and to allow his Spirit to transform us in his ways.
"When he comes our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing,
'Alleluiah! What a Savior!'"
-P.P. Bliss, Man of Sorrows