Already / Not Yet

[Wade Grocott lives in Caronport, owns a house in Moose Jaw, and works in Regina. He loves his wife Richelle, and enjoys photography, books and surfing. He is trying to slow down just a bit this Advent but can’t make any promises on that.]

When I really thought about advent in preparation for this season, one of the first things that came to mind was, “Why are we still doing this?  Why are we still waiting for the coming of the Messiah?  Why are we taking this season to anticipate His coming, when He has already come?  Jesus has been born, 2000 years ago.  Why would we spend time anticipating something that has already happened?”

Shouldn’t we just celebrate His birth and then celebrate Easter?  Shouldn’t we be focusing more on his resurrection, or the fact that sin is defeated, or just celebrating with a big birthday party where everyone gets gifts?

As I think more about it though, while it’s good to celebrate these things for sure, I am also reminded that there is still some unfinished business, so to speak, and maybe that is part of what Advent is about.

Our Saviour has already come, yes, but not yet for the final time, and this season of preparation for Jesus’ birth can be a time of remembering that He did come, but that the world is still broken and we are waiting for Him to come again when He will restore everything, once and for all.

I look at my own life.  I have already been saved, already been given a new life, but I still struggle with sin, I am not yet how God made me to be.  I have a new Spirit in me, but I still have this life to live in this sin-infected body, in this world where evil still has a stronghold.

We can take this season to remember, to wait, to anticipate.  In doing so, we can remember how much God loves us, that He sent His son to us, and look forward to that day in the future when He will return.

When we are in the middle of things it’s easy to forget not only that He is coming, but that He has come.  It has started.  There is a new kingdom established.  It’s sometimes hard because this new kingdom of God is not blatant for everyone to see, you have to look for it, you have to have eyes that can see this new kingdom, this new way.

This anticipating, expecting, waiting in advent helps us to take the posture where we are looking for God to be at work in this world now, in each of us and in everyone we encounter.  He has come, He is coming now, and he will come.  Advent is a time when we can focus on that, and hopefully change the way we see things the rest of the year too.

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