The Third Coming

David Bast

Read: John 14:15-23

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (v. 18)

The theme of these December devotionals is Waiting, Watching, Welcoming. If you stick with the calendar, you will be reading them during Advent and Christmas. Advent is all about expectation and preparation. People will be using these December days for shopping, parties, and family gatherings, as everyone looks forward to Christmas. You will probably be doing those things too, but you can also use the next four weeks for a deeper purpose.

In Advent, Christians remember that we are waiting. As we worship on these four Sundays, we can identify in a small way with the Old Testament saints who waited long centuries for the Messiah to come. And while we rejoice that God did come into our world in Jesus, we also remember that we are still waiting for another, greater advent, when Jesus will come again to complete the salvation he has begun.

We usually think in terms of those two comings: in the past, when Christ came to be our Savior, and in the future, when “he will come again to judge the living and the dead” (Apostles’ Creed). But there is a third coming of Jesus, a present one. Through the Spirit, Jesus comes right now to live in his friends—those who love him and keep his commands.

So as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ incarnation and birth, and as we wait and watch for his return at the end of this age, we also welcome him now—provided we are his friends. —David Bast

As you pray, ask Jesus to make you a better friend of his.