This year’s Advent Season began this past Sunday and will conclude on Christmas Eve. The Advent reminds us of Christ’s first coming nearly two thousand years ago. Advent is a time we are called to remember the supernatural conception of the Virgin Mary and the Incarnation of the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-20). This divine event did not come about by random chance, but was the outcome of God’s plan to redeem mankind from their sins long before the creation of the universe (Rev. 13:8). God is omniscient and knows all things; thus, he knew Adam and Eve would transgress and fall from perfection, so a plan of redemption was designed to provide a Savior, God himself in the flesh.

God’s plan was revealed after Adam and Eve sinned (Gen. 3:15). God cursed the serpent, the creature Satan used to tempt Eve, and then he prophesied that there would be enmity, hostility between the woman’s seed and the serpent’s offspring, her seed would crush the head of the evil one, and the evil one would strike the righteous seed by wounding him (Gen. 3:14-15; Isa. 53:1-12). That was the beginning of prophecies of the First Advent. Additional prophecies of an expected Savior followed (e.g. Deut. 18:15; Psalms 2:1-9; 16:7-11; 22; Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Jer. 31:15; Ezek. 37:24: Hos. 11:1; Micah 5:2: Zech. 9:9; 12:10; and many more).

From the first prophecy of the First Advent to the fulfillment of the Arrival (Latin, adventus) more than four thousand years passed and Christ was born! When I first arrived in Patterson, over thirty years ago, a sign was posted on the property of what is now the Walgreen’s parking lot. It was a McDonalds sign that read, “McDonalds Coming Soon.” Not too many people believed it, because the sign was cut down with a chainsaw in 1989. The sign was replaced, but it continued to be cut down year after year until a McDonalds was finally built. Delay is not denial.

Christ’s first coming was by no means delayed; he arrived right on schedule (Gal. 4:4-5). May we rejoice in his arrival just as Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds did that First Advent (Luke 2:8-20). May we also rejoice in the promise that Jesus is coming back a second time (Matt. 16:27; John 14:3; Acts 1: 9-11), not as a lamb but as a lion - the King of Kings who will rule and reign forever! Rejoice in Christ’s First Advent! The Second Advent is on God’s calendar - it has been scheduled. Rejoice, Jesus Christ is Coming Soon! Be Ready! Maranatha!

By Pastor Ken Moren, Family Christian Center. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.

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