By Matt Henslee
Scripture: Mark 13:24-37
As we launch into this season of Advent, we enter into a season of anticipation.
Kids anticipate opening gifts, parents anticipate the pitter-patter of feet rushing to see what toys lie under the tree, and credit card companies anticipate sending a round of bills at the first of the year.
But it also begins a season of anticipation by reflection. We reflect on the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we also long for His return. As James R. Edwards puts it:
The longing that things ought not to be as they are, and cannot be allowed to remain as they are, is essentially an eschatological longing.”
We need not look to the manger with an empty hope because we know Jesus would grow up, live perfectly, and go to the cross on our behalf.
Likewise, we need not look to the cross with an empty hope because we know Jesus would rise again three days later.
And that birthed a promise even better: He’s coming again.
We look forward to that day, the Great Day, when Jesus returns in glory, condemns evil, ends suffering, and wipes away every tear from our eyes. That glorious day when our Lord will gather His people, Christians, to Himself.
So, as you begin this time of anticipation, as you start to gather around people you love with endless Christmas parties and make your way through the hustle and bustle of this season—hit the pause button.
- Pause and consider who was born in that manger.
- Pray in thanksgiving He went to the cross and rose again.
- Praise our Lord with a yearning for His return.
- Proclaim these truths until He comes “in clouds with great power and glory.”
MATT HENSLEE (@mhenslee) is managing editor of LifeWay Pastors and coauthor of the book Replanting Rural Churches. He is the husband of Rebecca, father of four princesses, and pastor of Mayhill Baptist Church in Mayhill, New Mexico. This devotion was based on Juan Sanchez’s “The Most Wonderful Time of Year.”