Advent: Preparing for the Coming of the Lord of lords

By Steve Manskar

Another season of Advent is upon us. It is a season of waiting, preparation and hope. During the four weeks of Advent the church prepares to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by looking forward to his promised coming again. We are entering a season of fasting and prayer while the world around us is going mad with buying, feasting, and busyness. When Christians keep a holy Advent they are faithful witnesses to God who became one of us as a poor son of a Galilean girl named Mary and who promises to come again to set the world right. All this is captured by Charles Wesley in his hymn "Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending" (UMH #718):

Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
once for our salvation slain;
thousand thousand saints attending
swell the triumph of his train:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Christ the Lord returns to reign.

Every eye shall now behold him,
robed in dreadful majesty;
those who set at nought and sold him,
pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
deeply wailing, deeply wailing, deeply wailing,
shall the true Messiah see.

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Now redemption, long expected,
see in solemn pomp appear;
all his saints, by man rejected,
now shall meet him in the air:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory;
claim the kingdom for thine own:
Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.

I hope you sing this hymn in worship on Sunday. I pray we all keep a holy Advent and witness to Jesus Christ in the world and follow his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.