Advent. A truly exciting season that anticipates a “coming” or “arrival”. First, it ushers in a season of preparation for the commemoration of the birth of Jesus, an event so central in the lives of believers. Second, it underscores waiting for the second coming of Jesus, a paramount event prophesied in Scripture and which many look forward to with great longing — Jesus, the Messiah, coming back to earth in full glory to rule a thousand years along with the chosen faithful.
Significantly, Advent is a compelling reminder that there is hope — hope that many are so needy of and ardent for. In today’s world, challenges to faith and reason lurk in dire circumstances. The blight of the pandemic to the economy and specifically, to people’s livelihood, is outmatched by the fear of losing loved ones to the mysterious virus that has drastically changed lives and the norms of living. In the broil is the clamor for social reform accented by the cries of the hurting poor, disadvantaged and marginalized. Anxiety and fear of the uncertain become the norm, and as to be expected, discontent and unhappiness creep in. This is not what the Lord wants for us, this I believe. Light shines at the end of the spiral. So then, comes Advent. Yes, Advent is here — hope overpowering the strain and weariness of dark circumstances. Hope abundant in the mercy of a very loving and compassionate God.
As I was reflecting on Advent last Sunday (the first of four Sundays of Advent), my attention was caught by pictures posted on Facebook by my son-in-law Matt and my daughter Joy – lovely and captivating scenes evocative of God’s power in the beauty of His creation. All for our enjoyment. All for our pleasure. These pictures are shared below.
Westward beach in Los Angeles (photos by Matt Rosenburg)