The celebration of Advent is not just about the coming of Jesus 2000 years ago. The celebration of Advent also looks forward to the day when Jesus will come again.
Revelation 21 begins: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’”
This peace comes at a price, though. In order to secure His kingdom, the Lamb of God must put an end to the grace that He has lavished on mankind. At the moment that He determines to establish this new heaven and new earth, it assures the destruction of this sinful earth. When every knee bows and every tongue confesses, it is no longer of their own free will, but because the awesome power of Christ compels them. God is a God of relationship. He desires fellowship with His children. So God waits. God waits because He knows that when He comes again it puts an end to the ability of His creation to choose Him. God’s great love for us means that He postpones His assured victory so that all might be saved.
So we wait, as well. We wait, eagerly anticipating the day of His return. We wait, sharing the Good News with as many people as we can. We wait, doing the work of building God’s Kingdom. We wait, knowing that when the Prince of Peace returns, it will be a lasting peace. Isaiah prophesied in chapter 9, “His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”