Ever since Adam and Eve had bitten the fruit and the fall, the fracturing of all things and inhabitants of earth, occurred, all of creation was sent into a season of waiting. Waiting for the Savior. A Redeemer. The Incarnate Christ, God in human flesh. Creation spent years and years crying out for this promised Messiah. For thousands of years they groaned for this King who would come through the bloodline of David. And God wooed. He wooed through the words of the prophets who whispered of this coming King. He wooed through the shouts of John the Baptist, "Prepare the way... He is coming!"
Advent is the season leading up to the birth of Christ, to His coming. It's a season of waiting, waiting in tension and anticipation that is. Living in the hope of the greatest gift God had yet to give. But like all periods of waiting, the world had grown weary and heavy. 400 Long years of weariness, heaviness, longing, and desire. After the years had passed, it was time.
The waiting was nearing an end. God's plan was carried out, events orchestrating at last. Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth, had been waiting in barrenness for many, many years, and God sent an angel to give them blessed news: Their son, John, would be the one to herald in the Messiah. Gabriel comes to Mary sharing news that she of all women has been chosen to carry the very Son of God. Herod makes unjust decrees, Magi from the East pack precious gifts to carry over long distances, Shepherds are beckoned from fields, Joseph travels with Mary to register in Bethlehem... and in quietness, lowliness, humbleness the Christ child, the Messiah, is born.
He'd finally come.
But Advent doesn't end at His birth. Advent was but a shadow pointing not just to the manger, but ultimately to the cross. For Christ came for this very reason. A birth to celebrate the coming end of death. A birth to celebrate coming victory over the grave. A birth to celebrate life everlasting for God's children.
And He is coming again. Not in lowliness of manger but on a mighty stead proclaiming victory. You and I are not so unlike the Israelites as we may think. They lived through the first Advent, you and I live in the midst of the second Advent. The final Advent.
During this Christmas holiday, let's remember, celebrate, rejoice in the fulfillment of the first Advent, and long for the final. He still is wooing!