Do you know the feeling, in matters of this life, of expecting a friend, expecting him to come, and he delays?… Do you know what it is to be in anxiety lest something should happen which may happen or may not, or to be in suspense about some important event, which makes your heart beat when you are reminded of it, and of which you think the first thing in the morning. Do you know what it is to have a friend in a distant country, to expect news of him, and to wonder from day to day what he is now doing, and whether he is well? Do you know what it is so to live upon a person who is present to you, that your eyes follow his, that you read his soul, that you see all its changes in his countenance, that you anticipate his wishes, that you smile in his smile, and are sad in his sadness, and are downcast when he is vexed, and rejoice in his successes? To watch for Christ is a feeling such as all these; as far as feelings of this world are fit to shadow out those of another.
Sometimes it seems as though we spend our lives waiting. Daydreaming about an upcoming vacation, worrying over a medical test, preparing for the birth of grandchild-our days are filled with anticipation and anxiety over what the future holds. As Christians, we too spend our lives waiting. But we are waiting for something much bigger than a trip, bigger even than retirement or a wedding: We are waiting for the return of Jesus in glory. Advent heightens this sense of waiting, because it marks not only our anticipation of Jesus’ final coming, but also our remembrance of his arrival into our world more than 2,000 years ago.
We talk of the second coming, while half the world has never heard of the first.
We do not think enough of Christ’s second coming. What would be said of the wife who, when her husband was away in another country, could be happy without him, and be contented to think rarely of him. On the contrary, the loving wife longs for her husband’s return. Oh, when will he come back! is her frequent exclamation. Wife of the Lamb, church of the Saviour, where is thy Lord? Is this thy blessed hope, as it was that of the primitive church? O Christian, are these not wanting here? Every morsel of that bread thou eatest at the sacramental table, every drop of wine thou drinkest, is the voice of Christ saying to thee, I will come again, and receive you to myself; and should draw forth thy longing desires, Come, Lord Jesus; even so, come quickly.