We have just finished the Advent season, the four weeks before Christmas. In many churches and homes, one candle has been lit for every Sunday during Advent. It’s a season to celebrate the arrival of the Son of God here on earth. At the same time, it reminds us of the second coming of our King.
Here in Colorado, we have had another kind of Advent. At almost every meal in any given restaurant, or in any family, even in evangelical ones, there has been a focus on two seemingly important topics. “We simply cannot wait for the new Star Wars movie to be released!” When it finally came out last week, people stood in line for hours to be able to be the first ones to see it. As soon as family or friends had watched it, they began quoting line after line to each other or brought up punch lines from the previous six movies.
The other seemingly important subject concerns Colorado’s professional football team, the Broncos. Various play moves in the games are being discussed, the strengths and weaknesses of the quarterbacks are being questioned, and of course the big one: Will the Broncos make it to the Super Bowl?
The same evangelicals who are so focused on Star Wars and the Broncos, find it hard to quote even ten verses from the Bible. The names of the four members of the Beatles are more recognized than the names of the four authors of the Gospels.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, some of his followers shouted: Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. However, the religious leaders in those days had the same problem as today’s Christians. The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. Who is this?” they asked. The ones who should have been the first to welcome him, didn’t even recognize him.
Who are you waiting for? Star Wars, Broncos…or perhaps Jesus? When I was a child, the second coming of Jesus was the focus of many sermons, books, and conversations. You so wanted to be ready for his arrival! Every time I wanted to do something questionable, my mother would admonish me, “Do you really want to be there or do that if Jesus returns today?” While some of that teaching was a bit scary for a young child or even a teenager, it did shift the focus back to the Lord.
The second coming of Jesus seems to be almost forgotten nowadays. In the busyness of life, our fascination with social media and media in general, it seems that the reality of his coming has been removed to the periphery of our lives, and even of our theology. As Bible reading is being set aside for other things, and as few sermons are addressing the second coming of our King, the truth of our future will eventually slide into oblivion.
I wish there would always be Advent in our hearts. That we would have an expectation and an anticipation for things beyond a new movie release or football game victories. We need to get back to waiting for the coming of our King, Redeemer and Savior. Who are you waiting for? He is not coming back to release us from our everyday problems, or from a world in chaos around us. However, he will give us daily strength to overcome our struggles in this world. He is coming to bring us into a full-blown relationship with him. If that is what we really want, and if he is who we are waiting for, then we need to open his book and read about it. Then our daily prayer will become, “Come, Lord Jesus!”