by Leo Schuster
Advent doesn’t begin on Christmas with the birth of Jesus. As a season of anticipation, it looks forward to the coming of the Lord in both his first and second advents. This year we’ll explore his coming through the prophetic imagination of Isaiah in the Old Testament. As with the composer, George Frideric Handel, whose masterpiece, The Messiah, opened with a reflection upon Isaiah 40, our series is animated by the fortieth chapter of Isaiah: “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). Advent is about the revelation of God’s glory in the gift of his Son to the world. The Hebrew word for glory means “heavy, full of substance and value.” Jesus is the One of unparalleled glory gifted to all people. At his first Advent, angels announced the inauguration of this glory and his global appeal: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people…Glory to God in the highest heaven” (Luke 2:10, 14). In the full realization of this, every creature in heaven and earth will be overcome by his glory and worship him in an outburst of ecstatic joy: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:13). In the meantime, his glory is an invaluable gift to us today, offering us substantive hope to sustain us through both the mundane and most harrowing moments of our lives. Click here to invite someone to join you at City Church this Advent.