Waiting and Watching

Theme: Jesus is coming again. 1st Sunday in Advent Year C
Object: Advent Wreath
Scripture: "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars... At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:25a, 27-28

It's official! We have entered into the Christmas countdown period. Every day now we will see it in the newspapers and hear it on the radio and television, "24 shopping days until Christmas," "23 shopping days until Christmas," "22 shopping days until Christmas." All around us there are signs that Christmas is coming. What are some of those signs?

  • Stores are filled with Christmas decorations
  • Santa is at the mall
  • Christmas music is playing on the radio and television
  • Christmas cards are arriving in the mailbox
  • Christmas parties at work, at school, and at church

There are plenty of signs that Christmas is coming, but 2000 years ago when Jesus was born, there were no big signs to announce that it was going to happen. There were no ads on the radio or TV saying "Coming soon! A Savior will be born in a stable near you!" When Jesus was born, many people were surprised! But as word of his birth spread, some people remembered that prophets had told them that God was going to send a Savior. They knew that this baby, born in a stable, was God keeping His promise.

Christmas is a not only a wonderful time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is also a time to remember that Jesus promised that he would come again. We don't read much about that in the newspapers and we don't hear much talk about it on the radio or television, but Jesus told us to be prepared and to watch for his return.

As we look forward to Christmas day, we also look forward to the day when Jesus will come again. Today we light the candle of hope on our advent wreath. Just as the people of Israel found hope in the promises of God, we find hope in Jesus' promise that he will come again.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for keeping your promise to send a Savior. We also thank you for the promise that he will return again to take us to our home in heaven. Amen.

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