Articles - Backlist
Pastor Robert Chew
7 December 2020
LAST WEEK, my daughter sent me a video of her sons helping their dad put up a fake Christmas tree. Their conduct and behaviour were commendable and revealing - but that’s a story for another time.
The video triggered my thoughts on how we are to get ready for Advent. If our annual preparations consist (only!) of putting up a tree, last minute dashes for gift shopping or special food, then I’m afraid we may have missed the point.
I’m reminded of what J.B. Phillips says in his book: Good News: Thoughts on God and Man, New York: Macmillan, 1963.
By far the most significant event in the whole course of human history will be celebrated, with or without understanding … What we are in fact celebrating is the awe-inspiring humility of God, and no amount of familiarity with the trappings of Christmas should ever blind us to its quiet but explosive significance ... God’s insertion of himself into human history came about with an almost frightening quietness and humility ... As millions will testify, he will come once again with the same silence and the same devastating humility into any heart which is ready to receive him.
“He will come once again … into any heart which is ready to receive him.”
Has Advent happened to you? When it “come(s) once again” will you be ready? How can you be ready?
There was nothing for Christians to do to prepare for the first Advent - it’s history. God planned and implemented it all without our knowledge. Christians can just praise and thank Him for it. It is the second Advent that needs preparing for.
Christians are living in the time and space between the two Advents. Now is the time for the bride, the church, to prepare for the Advent of Christ, her bridegroom.
This is the lesson of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Prepare for Christ’s return. Christians imperil their positions in Christ if they do not.
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour”. That is the warning Jesus leaves us with in verse 13.
- Pastor Robert Chew