The 3-fold coming of Jesus during Advent

During these 4 weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas we wait for the coming of Jesus.  My friend and writer Carolyn Butler writes from Cape Town, South Africa, saying:

“Advent is a time of awareness of the three-fold coming of Christ:  the Christ who came to the stable in Bethlehem, the Christ who stands constantly knocking at the door of our heart, and the triumphant Christ of Revelation who will return to claim his own.”

These Scriptures make this 3-fold coming clear:  John 1:14, Revelation 3:20, and Revelation 22:20.

* This morning I am thinking of the time in my life when I was 6 or 7 and singing at the top of my lungs in the basement of the church I attended: “It’s bubbling. It’s bubbling. It’s bubbling in my soul.” Jesus was beginning to speak to heart.

* Then I think of the time when I was 15 years old and felt one summer evening that God wanted me to pursue the ministry. It was yet another coming.

* There was the time 37 years ago I felt the door was open to move from Kansas to Illinois.  Little did I know then that I would spend my adult life in Champaign-Urbana, at least so far.

* Earlier this year I began speaking a little rural church during it’s time of transition.  Again, I have felt the Lord’s presence come and rest upon me, and upon the saints of this rural congregation. Again, the Lord was coming, opening a door, saying, “See, I am always with you.”

There always seem to be evidences of God’s constant coming in our lives, if we will take the time to stop, reflect and consider what those might be. 

So friends, let me ask you. Where are you in comparison to where you were a year ago, 5 years ago, 15 years ago? My writer friend Carolyn asks it this way: “What landmarks have been reached, what goals are you considering before you?  … Jesus said that he came so that we might have life and have it abundantly.”

—–

Lord, we are again waiting for you to come into our hearts during this season of Advent, this season of waiting.  You are standing at the door knocking and waiting, ever so patiently.  Give us the courage to open the door and let you come in.  As the hymn writer Charles Wesley wrote, “Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free … from our sins and fears release us, let us find our rest in thee.”

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