You don’t often think of the Epistle of James as a place to find the themes of Advent, but they are there. If you take time to read the book today (it should take you only 16 minutes), the theme of James is an exhortation of patience through suffering. But, what underlies that theme is the expectation of Christ’s second advent, His coming AGAIN.
As a child, you might recall the emotions you felt the day AFTER Christmas. It was almost as if a post-Christmas depression sets in and you go into mourning that the presents are all opened, the decorations need to be put away, the Christmas treats are all gone, and the Christmas music playlists have now gone stale. It’s a rough season for a little kid to think that the next time it rolls around is 364 more days away. But, for a believer, the joy doesn’t need to end!
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.James 5:7–8
For the Apostle James and his recipients, the coming of the Lord was literally only days away. It was imminent! They were patient, but NOT idle. They had positive confidence that Jesus’ return was right around the corner and they had a lot of work to do in the meantime.
Yesterday, Pastor Jay labored the point that as followers of Christ, we’re actually “2 Advent” Christians – we celebrate His first advent in the manger, but also should be eager for His second advent as the judge of the living and the dead.
Today, as you prepare yourself for December 25th, also mentally remind your spirit that ALL OF YOUR EXCITEMENT doesn’t end on December 26th. Rather, live in the light of the King at hand. Abide in Jesus with the confidence that He is coming AGAIN!