Advent, the season we prepare for the arrival of Immanuel, God with us, our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we ponder the miracle of the virgin birth, and the complete contradiction of Almighty God appearing as a babe, can we imagine how two thousand plus years ago, they prepared for His arrival? Could they remember the prophecies of old, and what did they expect? History reveals many were not prepared, and certainly misunderstood that the Christ must first come as a Servant King, seated on a donkey, before coming again as the all conquering King of kings, seated on His white warhorse …coming from heaven that all may see.
Are we ready, or will we make the same mistakes? He has revealed the nature of His return, and calls us to reflect on the future, to make way for Immanuel.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.