The time leading up to Christmas seems kind of like a crazy frenzy of things we’ve got to do, expectations to meet (those of ours and our own), and generally a lot of rushing around. It hasn’t always been this way though. Historically, Christians have called this time of year Advent, which is a time of anticipation; a time of waiting. During Advent, we look back, anticipating the arrival of Jesus as a baby in a manger. We also look forward to His return in glory as a reigning king.
In His first arrival, Jesus established the chance for us to have a relationship with Him and have our sins forgiven. When He comes again, He will fulfill every promise God has ever made, and those who know Him will live in His presence forever. I’ve heard people describe the period we’re in now as between the comings. This is both a wonderful and difficult time to live in. We have received a deposit on the promises of God but they haven’t been completely fulfilled yet. This goes a long way to explain why life can be so wonderful, and so hard.
Maybe this Christmas season has been painful for you. You may have lost a loved one, or a job. Maybe there is a badly broken relationship, maybe you’ve been betrayed. Perhaps you are feeling the guilt of something that you have done and want to make it right. The forgiveness Jesus gained for you on the cross is available right now. But there are other things we wait for. Whatever you are going through now, Revelation 21:3-4 is a powerful reminder of what we are waiting for.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.