C.C. Advent arrives #142

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Advent has arrived! Or maybe more accurately, Jesus has arrived and Advent ends. Or does it? I don’t think everyone’s journey is over just yet. The shepherds saw Jesus for themselves while the Wise Men were still on their way. In fact, the journey of the Wise Men was far from over and could have taken up to two years before they finally found Jesus, still in Bethlehem but no longer a baby in a manger.

I guess the Advent journey is longer for some of us than for others. It takes some of us longer than others to finally find our way into the presence of God’s only Son, God’s gift to this world. I have said that the journey of Advent leads us into the presence of Jesus, that this is Advent’s destination. But this particular destination is not an end to my journey nor to yours, dear readers. It is more new beginning, less ending to my journey, it is more about destiny than about destination.

Because once I come into Jesus’s presence, I am forever changed. I am not the same and my life will no longer be the same. With Jesus’s advent, our world was changed forever. Everyone who comes into His presence is changed. Just look at how meeting Jesus affected the shepherds.

“When they (the shepherds) had seen Him, (Jesus) they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:17-18)

Some years later, a Samaritan woman’s life was changed forever when she had an encounter with Jesus at a well one day. After a conversation with Jesus this is what happened next.

“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward Him. . . . Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ . . . And because of His (Jesus) words many more became believers. They said to the woman, ‘ . . . now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’ ” (John 4:28-30 & 39-42)

The woman at the well was changed when she spent time with Jesus and the whole town was witness to her transformation. Another changed life was that of Peter. Once he encountered Jesus, Peter did not want to be anywhere else. John 6:66-69 tells us what happened,

“From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.’ ”

Being in the presence of Jesus, forever changed Peter. Jesus’s advent also changes me forever. His presence changes me on a daily basis, a one day at a time transformation. I think that must be why David said in Psalm 51:11,

“Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

Once your Advent journey brings you into the holy presence of the Christ Child, you are forever changed and you never want to leave. David expressed this desire in Psalm 84:10 saying,

“Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”

So Advent may have arrived in the Person of Jesus Christ, but my journey continues. The difference is, I no longer journey alone. Now I abide in His presence and follow where He leads, but I do not journey alone any longer. In His presence there is light and there is life.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ” (John 8:12)

Today we celebrate that light has come into our dark world! Welcome baby Jesus, Savior of the world, Redeemer of my soul. I no longer have to walk in darkness. I no longer have to walk alone. Let me rejoice and be glad. May each one of you, dear readers, rejoice and be glad as well. God has kept His promise to mankind!

Jesus has come! Jesus is coming again! Advent has arrived, bringing God’s presence to earth, His presence to us, to keep us company until His return.

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. . . . Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.” (Psalm 95:1-2 & Psalm 96:11-13)

The Savior has come! The Savior is coming! Merry Christmas, glad tidings of great joy to every person!

sincerely, Grace Day

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