Advent at Cedar Springs
In the beginning…we are all familiar with what comes next. The amazing God of power and might speaks creation into existence. While making moons and monkeys, stars and salmon, planets and pansies, canyons, and cockatoos, He creates something else. He forms something special and sacred, made in His image, and breathes life into this new creature—man and woman. And for a time, all is right and perfect, and God shares intimate fellowship with His people. He walks and talks with them and takes care of their needs. Unfortunately, this won’t last.
Again, we are all too familiar with what happens next. Adam and Eve are tempted and fall into sin. Not only are their eyes opened to shame, but their perfect fellowship with God is broken. No more walks and talks. No more intimate face-to-face time in God’s Presence. God casts them out of the Garden out of love so they don’t eat from the Tree of Life and remain in this new fallen state forever. Because of this, Adam and Eve’s hearts are incomplete. They long for the fellowship they once enjoyed and no longer have and try as they might to fill it, they cannot.
But God also longs for His people. Not because He has some need they fill for Him but because He has a deep love for them and longs to provide that deep intimacy with Him again. He has a plan. It’s a plan He devised even before Creation because He knew the hearts of His people and that they would succumb to sin. His plan involves the return of His Presence in close proximity with those He loved, except this time He would become like them. He would put on flesh and walk and live as they did, not as an equal but as their Savior who can fulfill the Law with His perfect life on their behalf. As we enter the Advent season, this is what we celebrate and thank God for. We get to see and experience the fulfillment of His promise to Adam and Eve in the garden after the fall. But what about those in between? How did God reveal Himself to those awaiting the Messiah?
As He waited for the perfect timing to enact His salvation plan, God did not remain silent nor far off from His people. He provided prophets and priests and kings to speak to and for the people and provided the sacrifices and the Tabernacle as reminders of His love and mercy. Not only that, He also showed up. From time to time, he appeared to His people. The theological term for this is “theophanies.” It was God coming near and taking on a form to interact with His people. Although there is some minor disagreement, these are often considered appearances of Jesus before He came in flesh. For this Advent, those are the passages we will be looking at together. The places where God came near to His people as a reminder that He comes near to us even still.
May God reveal Himself through His Word, His Creation, and His people during this Advent Season!
We are also excited to walk daily with you through Advent, studying many others who are part of the genealogy of Jesus. These daily devotionals are available online as printable books and as recorded videos, on social media, and via an email subscription.
What Is Advent? Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ.