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The first Advent
December 6, 2010
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Kingston Apostolic Lutheran Church

After a wonderful time with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, we enter into a new church calendar year, which began Nov 28 with the first Sunday in Advent.

Many churches at this time observe a tradition of lighting Advent candles on each of the four Sundays of Advent: first Sunday in Advent: blue (hope), signifying that He is coming; second Sunday in Advent: blue (peace), He is still at a distance; third Sunday in Advent: pink (faith), His arrival is close at hand; fourth Sunday in Advent: white (love), He has come, all is fulfilled.

Ever since the promise of his coming in Genesis 3:15 was communicated by God in the Garden of Eden after the fall of mankind into sin, those who have awaited the grace of His first Advent have poured over the Scriptures, searching them for signs of His coming, and waited and waited and waited . . . but God tarried.

Prophets through the years prophesied of His coming, not fully understanding the implication of that which they wrote in the scrolls of the Scriptures. Isaiah spoke 700 years before His first Advent of the certainty of His arrival when he wrote of it by prophecy; Matthew described the events as they happened on Christmas Eve; and John, the Apostle explained later that God had come in the flesh (in a human body).

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 40:1-5

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” Luke 2:9

“And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

As we attempt to recreate and relive in our minds and in our hearts of the first coming of our Lord in all His glory, that Light which was seen by the shepherds, sung about by the angels, and experienced by those who gathered around the humble birthing place of Emmanuel (God with us), may the wonder of it all re-ignite our sometimes weary hearts to renewed hope, to quiet peace, to revived faith, and to exuberant joy in His Advent!

He has come to us to redeem us, is with us and in us today, and one day will come for us to take us to be with Him for all eternity! May we be watching and waiting, so we may say these words in response to His words of invitation:

“He which testifieth these things saith, ‘Surely I come quickly. Amen.’ Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20

Have a blessed Advent season in your preparations to relive the coming of God for us and to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.