Children all across the world are excitedly waiting for Santa Claus to deliver lots of toys and goodies to their homes. The children are so eagerly awaiting Santa that they go to bed early and leave cookies and milk for him to enjoy. There are even songs about Santa’s coming which dominate the radio waves, such as “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” Little boys and girls are warned to be on their best behavior because, “he’s making a list and checking it twice.”
The excitement for Santa’s one-time visit pales in comparison to the Israelites’ anticipation of the Messiah’s arrival. They waited for thousands of years for the One who would bring them salvation by offering Himself as a substitute (Isaiah 53:4-6). They waited for centuries on the arrival of their Savior, the One who would crush Satan’s head and reverse the curse of sin (Genesis 3:15-19). Finally, He arrived on earth on Christmas Day. He was born in the likeness of men with a fleshly body (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 2:14, 17-18).
His first advent was humble, quiet, and observed by only His earthly parents, lowly shepherds, and a few bystanders. Now that He accomplished the work God sent Him to do, we are waiting on His second advent. He will come to earth a second time, and this time, everyone will see it: “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen” (Revelation 1:7). He will not come as a helpless babe, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords riding on a white horse to “tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Revelation 19:15).
One glorious day, Jesus is comin’ to town. Have you made preparations for His second arrival? He is coming soon: “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done” (Revelation 22:12). It may be Christmas Day, tomorrow, or a thousand years from now. In any case, you must be ready: “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:44).
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).