Advent and Disruptive Events

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14

advent |ˈadˌvent|

  • noun [in sing. ]
  • the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event : the advent of television.
  • • ( Advent) the first season of the church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
  • • ( Advent) Christian Theology the coming or second coming of Christ.
  • ORIGIN Old English , from Latin adventus arrival, from advenire, from ad- to + venire come.

There are things that disrupt the way we live, relate or work. The arrival of new things are disruptive. The advent of the telegraph. This ushered in long distance communication while shortening the time that was needed for the travel of the message. Then came the radio. We no longer had to run wires to communicate long distance. Then we developed television. Now we could send information, audio and video. The arrival of these things is disruptive because it fundamentally changes the nature and mode of long distance communication.

John uses this same analogy of communication or “word” to give us an abstract illustration about the nature of Jesus’ advent and His incarnation. Advent has forever changed our mode and way of understanding and relating to God. What was veiled in metaphor and symbol. What was prophets of old communicating far off oracles has now changed. In a small stable of Bethlehem the very author writes himself into the story. His advent is the most disruptive event in the history of the universe. The Author has become the Word in his very own story. Let advent be the disruptive event God designed it to be.

“…My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence? The incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not” – CS Lewis in “A Grief Observed”

It Won’t Always Be So

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head,    and you shall bruise his heel.  GENESIS 3:15

Humanity for millenia has sensed a deep inner dislocation. Things are not the way they should be. Long ago, God whispered the first promise, “It won’t always be so.”

Advent is a time in which we reflect on the once and future king. Advent comes from the Latin meaning “to come.” In advent we await the end of exile. Deep in each one of us we realize that somehow, somewhere paradise got lost and we don’t know how to find it.

In Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve chose exile, God wonderfully whispered, “It will not always be so.” This is the First Promise or the Proto-Evangelium or First Gospel.

As this Advent season starts, let us reflect on the myriad of years that went by until we saw this inaugurated in Christ. Let us live with eager expectation.

Let us celebrate this once and future king.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Christy Nockels







Come Thou Long Expected Jesus performed by Christy Nockels.

In most Christian Calendars we have a season of five weeks known as Advent. These are the weeks leading up to Christmas in which we sing about our once and future king. Advent derives its name from the Latin “ad + venire” “to come.” This Advent Hymn’s words were penned by Charles Wesley.

One of the earliest Christian expressions was the word Marantha. Greeks, Romans, Jews, Scythians, and barbarians left this word untranslated. (see 1 Cor 16:22) Such was the early Christian expectation in 56AD. Jesus would return to fix His broken world. It encapsulates the hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations and longings of every human being. Christ’s first and second coming bring the wiping away of tears, no more sickness and no more war. Maranatha! Our Lord, Come!

Each advent song speaks of our exile from a perfectly running world, a longing for a True King, and a hope that all will be set right. The Christian doctrine of Advent offers this in one fell swoop. God, in Christ, came to redeem us from slavery of sin, become our True King as he was crowned with thorns, and deliver us from darkness into the kingdom of light.

These next weeks let us reflect on what it means to have a Once and Future King.

Collect for the First Sunday of Advent

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.