The following post was submitted by Theresa Froehlich for the series Jesus is Coming What Do We Expect? which should begin tomorrow with the beginning of Advent. However it seemed a very appropriate forerunner to the season so I thought that I would begin a little early with the journey.
The advent candle holder is on our dining table, ready for the special advent candles that represent Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
The candle holder is a round one with five Angels looking outward. After we carefully insert the Advent candles into their individual cavities, we light the candles and we read from the Advent devotional book. The devotional readings remind us that Christ has come, that he is Immanuel, God with us, and that he will come again. This simple ceremony is a powerful and profound experience as we look on the flames of the flickering candle giving light in darkness, savoring the real presence of Jesus Christ.
Advent is a season of waiting, hoping, reflecting and anticipating. The whole world is reflecting on their life during the first eleven months of the year and wondering what they could expect in the New Year.
During the Advent season, Christians attempt to focus our attention on the coming of Jesus Christ. Almost 2000 years ago, the coming of the Christ Child turned the world upside down. When this child became a grown man, he was crucified on the cross to save us from our sin. Throughout the centuries, the world continues to debate about Jesus. Who is Jesus Christ? Why did he come? Why would he give himself as a sacrifice? Why do Christians continue to make a big deal about his coming?
The answer to all these questions is found in an unlikely source. When Jesus was tried by Pontius Pilate, the governor found no guilt and wanted to release Jesus. The Jews put pressure on Pilate to crucify Jesus, saying “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar’s (John 19:12).” To the Jews, the choice was rather clear: the choice of friendship is mutually exclusive. To the Jews, choosing Jesus Christ as friend is to turn away from other allegiances.
The coming of Jesus fulfilled the prophecy about him, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34). But this prophecy was not fulfilled in the usual, political manner that most people would’ve expected. The God-King came to offer friendship so that he can become the king in our hearts. When we accept his offer of friendship, he becomes the Emmanuel, God with us, in our lives.
While the world is marking the beginning of Advent with a Black Friday shopping spree, we have an invitation from the Christ-Child to become his friend. How might you respond to this invitation?
Theresa Froehlich is a Certified Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, and ordained minister. She is a native of Hong Kong. She is married to Hervey Froehlich and they have two grown children. You can read more of her postings at http://www.transitionslifecoaching.org