Coming Attractions: Advent Week 1
By Anthony Casperson
“Coming soon to a theater near you.” It’s a phrase meant to hype up people for a movie that has been announced, but has yet to come out. It’s advertising for something yet to come.
These coming attractions use little snippets of the film to show how good it’s going to be. It’s a microcosm of the film. Is it going to be funny? Is it going to be action packed? Is it a tearjerker? It gives you just enough to understand the basic premise, but it leaves out much of the most interesting plot twists.
If you’re anything like me, the coming attractions is an exciting moment because it let’s me know what I don’t want to miss. This new movie’s coming out and I have to see it when it does. And every new viewing of the movie trailer, or additional trailers for the same film, psychs me up for when it finally does come. That’s the point of the coming attractions: to make you want it to be the release date already.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be following a version of Advent. In many churches, Advent is celebrated during the four weeks previous to Christmas. It’s a coming attractions for the holiday celebrating the first coming of Jesus to earth, enfleshed in humanity. Each week, one of four candles are lit as some aspect of Christmas is spoken.
I say we’ll follow a version of Advent because there are several different traditions when it comes to Advent. Each week for the next few weeks, we’ll look at an aspect of Jesus’ coming connected with a single word and a specific color (hence the color of the words here).
For millennia before Jesus came to earth, God promised to fallen humanity that a Savior would come. From Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve first sinned, all the way to right before Jesus was born, the promise of one coming to bring salvation to humanity had long been foretold.
Though many plot twists, like being crucified, were hidden among the promises, one basic premise was found among the prophecies concerning the coming Savior: the King was coming. This coming one, this Messiah, would be of the line of King David. He would rule and reign. And these promises made those to whom they were given want the promise to be fulfilled right then and there.
The coming of a Savior to bring us back to God, a King who will reign in righteousness. Who wouldn’t want that to come in their lifetime? In a world where selfishness reigns, who wouldn’t want a just and holy Savior to come and free us from it?
Who wouldn’t want that hope? That is what the promises of Jesus’ incarnation give us, hope. Not just a future change, but the foundation on which to rest while the promise comes. Hope that no matter what’s going on in our lives right now, God has plans ready to free us.
Plans to bring the King of kings to reign in our lives. That is what the color blue represents: royalty. And that is part of what Christmas means. Stand firm in hope, the King is coming to save.