By Brooke Holt
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” - Revelation 1:5-7
A transformation is coming! Are you ready? Just like the nation of Israel awaiting their Messiah for thousands of years, we are now in that long process of waiting. When will Jesus come again? Will there be signs? Is he coming soon? These are questions God’s people have been asking since the day that Jesus ascended into the sky, leaving his people with the promise that he would come again.
As we prepare for the Advent season, we are called to make ourselves ready. There is the eager anticipation of that return; it is part of the preparation process. It is often described like the bride preparing herself for that wedding day, that day her groom will come and whisk her off her feet so that they can begin their new life together. We, too, must prepare ourselves for Jesus’s coming, but how do we do that?
In verse 7, John uses the word, “Behold.” While we often gloss over that word, that was not John’s intent. It is specially placed right there telling us to see, to look, to pause in order to see something important. And notice that “he is coming” is written in the present tense, conveying that there is something happening right now, even today, and the day that John wrote this letter.
Again, how do we get ready, and what is actually happening right now? First, there is that divine transformation within God’s people. As John writes, God loves us, and he has set us free from all our sins through the blood of Jesus. We have not only been freed and forgiven, but we have been declared his holy ones—holy ones who have dominion in this world and the world to come. There is transformation in the life of God’s children. It is an ongoing transformation that will continue until we do see him coming with the clouds. When God establishes his final kingdom on earth, we will know the full transformation that we long for; until then, we stay in the waiting, in the freedom, in the love, in the forgiveness, and in the hope that tomorrow is the day when all will see him and all will know that he is the true Messiah, the promised one, the very one whom we have been waiting for.
Then, there is the final Apocalyptic transformation following the continual divine transformation of our lives. The continual leads to the final. Until that day, may we persevere in expectation and hope. That is the invitation of the season of Advent. Come, Lord Jesus, come! And until then help me to prepare faithfully for you!
How might the Lord be calling you to prepare yourself for his coming this Advent? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Most people think of Advent as a warm-up to Christmas, but actually, it's the other way around. Christmas is a preview of Advent! Through the devotional readings in Prepare the Way, we invite you to celebrate Advent again. For 28 days, join with St. Paul, King David the Psalmist, Zechariah, Gabriel, Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, along with the crowds who flocked to him as they rejoiced in the good news of Christmas, and then look beyond it for the holiday that never ends!
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