The meaning of Advent – Advent 2022, Week 4, Part 1

Editor’s Note: This post is written by guest blogger, David Hundert. David is a current Master of Divinity student at Evangelical Seminary.

In the Gospel of Luke, Scripture describes an image of an angel as it appears to the shepherds, along with a host of others. Luke records them as saying,

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

What does it mean for us today, to have His peace here on earth and more importantly, how to we gain His favor?

To answer that question, we first need to answer another: What is “Advent?” What is the meaning of the word and why is it important?

“Advent” is a word with Latin roots, meaning “coming.” It is typically used to refer to this time of year when we remember the initial coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, “advent” can also be used to refer to the “second coming” of Jesus, for which all believers wait with great anticipation.

As we think about Jesus’ first and second advent, I want to drill down on the phrase used by John the Baptist, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” To me, this is a strange thing to say, when you are preparing to meet your Messiah.

John starts out his message with “Repent!” I got that. The most important thing that we can do to get our relationship right with the Lord, is to ask for forgiveness, and to quit making the same mistakes over and over. Check!

Then John continues his message with his reasoning for that when he says, “…for the kingdom of the Lord is near”, and I understand that as well. Each day that the Lord tarries, we are one day closer to His eventual return. Scripture says that no one knows the hour or the day. When we look at society today, we are definitely one day closer.

However, he doesn’t just stop there. If he did, I would have been okay. But he had to add, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” Are we to assume that God needed Israel to intervene in how the Lord arrives? Is it up to them to do some excavating and landscaping for Him to arrive? I read this, and it really got me thinking, there had to be more to this story than that.

John the Baptist tells us that he was reciting from the prophet Isaiah. It comes from Isaiah 40:3, and in the next post we’ll take a look at that passage in context.

Photo by Walter Chávez on Unsplash

Published by joelkime

I love my wife, Michelle, and our four kids and two daughters-in-law. I serve at Faith Church and love our church family. I teach a course online from time to time, and in my free time I love to read and exercise, especially running,

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