by Frans Bakker
Even so, come, Lord Jesus. —Revelation 22:20
We have again come to the time of the ecclesiastical year that is called the time of Advent. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin word advenire, meaning “to come.” This refers to the coming of God’s Son from heaven to earth. If it is well, the church should be an Advent church. The church must live in the expectation of Christ’s coming. In the Old Testament the church lived in the expectation of Christ’s first coming to work salvation. The New Testament church is called to expect His second coming, which will be to judge the living and the dead and to redeem all His people.
Suppose that somewhere a king were to come and nobody was waiting for him. That would be a sign that this king was not an acknowledged ruler. Therefore, in this time of Advent, the question is whether there is a place in our lives for the coming Christ. There was no place for Christ in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph sought in vain, for every place was filled. There was no place on earth for the King of heaven. Neither was it to be seen in this Child that He was a King, for He was stripped of all heavenly splendors. His coming was a way of deep humiliation; He had neither form nor comeliness that we should desire Him. In the stable at Bethlehem, everything was poor, and as to Himself, this Child had become so poor that everyone would have compassion on Him. Is this now a King? But blessed are they who still see in Him their King. They are people who have lost their crown in Paradise. That Child is indispensable for such fallen ones. They do not have compassion for this poor Child. For them the reverse is true, namely, that His humiliation is a fruit of His compassion for them. They see their own fall in this humiliated Child.
We need grace to see our poverty in order to experience Advent. There are no people as poor as the people of Advent. They are poor in righteousness, poor in holiness, and poor because of all they lack before God to become what they yet should be. They have tried to live before God, but the more they have tried, the more impossible this became. These people have nothing wherewith to pay their debt. And now, because of their inability, room is found in their lives for the Child in the manger. Then there is expectation: “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.”
From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.