In the church calendar, advent is traditionally a time of hope where Christians both long for the return of Christ and celebrate his coming. In this series we follow the words of Revelation that Christ is the one who was and is and is to come, by thinking about what the coming of Jesus means in the past, the present and the future.
Sermon One – Christmas Past: Christ Has Come (Galatians 4:4-5)
These verses talk of how Jesus came into the world ‘Born of a Woman’. This is a summary statement of what happened in the nativity story that gives you scope to dip into the gospel accounts and flesh out Jesus’ birth narrative. We are also told that it was no less than God sending forth his Son. The one who came into the world was no ordinary child, but God the Son in the flesh, and you can discuss what the incarnation means – that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. We are also told the reason why God sent his son into the world – to redeem us and to adopt us into God’s family.
Sermon Two – Christmas Present: Christ Is With Us (Matthew 28:20)
The promise is made by Jesus to his disciples that ‘I am always with you’. The context of this was after the resurrection, where the disciples had recently felt alone and abandoned when Jesus died, and knowing that he was about to ascend to leave again to ascend to heaven. The promise in this verse was a great encouragement to them and to us. Christ is with us always, and when we are his followers, he dwells within us (see Col 1:27 and Gal 2:20). The way Christ dwells in us and is with us is by his Holy Spirit.
Sermon Three – Christmas Future: Will Come Again (Acts 1:9-11)
In these verses, Jesus was clear that he will come back again, and as Christians we look forward to and long for this day. We do not know when the day or the hour will be, but we do know that he will return bodily. Sometimes talk of Christ’s return leads people to unhelpful speculation around precise details of events that the Bible does not elaborate on. What is clear is that the Biblical response to these truths is not speculation but hope. When Christ does return, all things will be put right. Sin and death will be vanquished, evil will be judged and the perfect new creation with no more crying or mourning or pain will be inaugurated.