Advent to Christmas
December 3, 2012
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

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 the first Advent of the certainty of His future arrival when he wrote of it by prophecy. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Matthew communicated the closeness of His coming to Joseph. “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23

And John the Apostle explained later that God had come in the flesh (in a human body). “And the Word 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

This is the time of the year when we again attempt to recreate and relive in our minds and in our hearts the first coming of Life in all His glory, of the Light which was seen by the shepherds, sung about by the angels, and experienced by those who gathered around the humble birthing place where Love was born in the flesh, Emmanuel (God with us). May the wonder of His grace toward us overwhelm us as we consider this babe in a manger,

“ . . . who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8

Have a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas!