“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son and shall name him Immanuel.” —Isaiah 7:14
The Bible tells an epic, sprawling story about God, the world and God’s intended future. As part of that story, prophets were given voice to sometimes praise, other times condemn, but always to remind the people of God’s presence and power to change the world. In Israel’s darkest moments, the prophets acknowledged that the world was not yet as God intended. God had a plan and would one day set all things right.
In the classic hymn “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” Charles Wesley describes the longing and expectation of a world waiting for redemption.
“Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.”
From the very beginning, Christians claimed that Jesus was the Messiah—anticipated by the Old Testament prophets, arriving as the fulfillment of Israel’s scriptures. This is what God’s people had been waiting for. This is what the world still waits for today. Advent is about two “arrivals” of Jesus: the first, which we celebrate on Christmas; the second, when He returns to re-create the world—God’s Kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.
Join us this Advent and beyond as we wait, watch and prepare the way for the Lord—proclaiming the Good News until Jesus comes again!