“Advent” comes from two Latin words: “ad” and “venio,” meaning “coming into.” Advent is the time to prepare to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth. His coming into our world signaled the fulfillment by our Heavenly Father of His promise to save us all through His Messiah! “Coming into” reminds me of when I came into our northern First Nations Canadian communities. Whenever I circled the plane around a community, I felt my excitement build. I was about to visit with and even minister to some of my First Nations friends! I will always be grateful for the warm and gracious welcomes I received.
What was Jesus’ reception like? Not so friendly. King Herod tried to have Him killed. As He grew up, He was mocked, beaten, and finally hung on a cross at Calvary to die. But, as God promised, He turned the Messiah’s death into victory: victory over the sin that entangles us, over Satan, who tempts us, and over our own flesh that daily betrays us. This was accomplished when Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion.
As we recall Jesus’ “coming into” our world, let us thank God for being faithful to His Old Testament promises; let us recall Jesus’ courage and determination to fulfill the Father’s will and save us all. The gifts He gives us — of forgiveness, new life, and salvation — are free of charge. We receive them by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts … by the faith that the Spirit creates for us.
We pray: Lord, please bless your servants who “come into” many northern communities to build up the faith of our First Nations Canadian brothers and sisters. Thank you for this season of Advent and that Jesus continues to come to us today through His Word and Sacraments. Amen.
Written by Bill Ney