Come Thou Long Expected Jesus!
At our church we regularly say that we get the great privilege of reading the Bible backwards, meaning that unlike the characters we meet when reading the Old Testament and the first followers of Jesus, we know the entire story. We know that the promised Messiah was born, lived a perfect life, shed His blood as our substitute, resurrected from the grave, and ascended to heaven.
For centuries and generations, God’s people were promised that a deliverer would come to earth and rescue them, but they would have to wait, trusting that God would keep His promise even if they weren’t the ones to experience the literal fulfillment of that promise. Imagine being the shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, when the angels appeared and announced that the promised Messiah has come, and as a result God’s favor was upon them. Generations of hearing about this promise was now being fulfilled right in front of their eyes, and they got to be included in God’s plan to rescue His people once and for all from sin’s power and penalty.
As a church family, we now live in the reality of the promise fulfilled. We wait for Christmas to come, but the Advent season is about much more than waiting for Christmas. Advent means “coming.” During Advent, we not only remember that Jesus came to earth as a man, but we also prepare our hearts for the promise that He is coming again for His church. This season when we sing, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” at our Sunday gatherings, it is not us pretending that we are ancient Israelites praying for the coming of the Messiah. No, we are praying that Emmanuel would return and make right all that is wrong with the world.
As you read through this advent devotional written by City Church staff and members, may it create worship in your heart that leads to mission, telling our community that the Messiah indeed has come.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
I am greatly looking forward to the advent season at City Church and in Tallahassee.
He has come,