We are expecting a Savior

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 3:20

I have to admit that I’m not a fan of “Christmas lights” being put up before, well…December.  This is not a bah-humbug post; and I’m not going to go on a rant about, “putting the Christ back in Christmas.”  What I would like to think about, however, is this upcoming season of Advent and how we live into the expectation that Jesus will come again as our Savior.

In the mad dash to December 25 that started before Halloween this year at my local Target, we seem to pay less and less attention to the season of Advent.  We give Lent its due before Easter, but we don’t pay the same reverence and attention to Advent.  Like Lent, Advent is a time of preparation.  Advent is a time for us to sit in darkness and move towards the dawning of the light that is about to come into the world, born again, afresh, for us this year.

The quote above comes from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians a portion of which is part of our Daily Eucharist lectionary.  (You can click here and read the whole passage if you’d like.)  The word that jumped out immediately was, “expecting.”

Do we really and truly EXPECT that Jesus will come again?  Do we really EXPECT that when our savior does come again that we all will be raised up to our new life, made perfect and whole in Christ?

Maybe we are more in the “hope for” category: “But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are hoping for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Just doesn’t have the same power behind it does it?  We are called by our faith to live more boldly than simply living as merely “hoping for” Christians.  We are called to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  In short, we are to LIVE the Good News, we are to EXPECT–and I’ll add, “with JOY,”–the day of Christ’s return.

This passage from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi talks about not being lead astray; it talks about how we shouldn’t live our lives with our thoughts and minds on things heavenly, but how we should live with the expectation that Christ will come from heaven FOR us and SAVE us.  In how we are to live as Christians there is no “hope for” about it; there IS expectation.

As we enter into this season of Advent–this season of preparation and self-examination–let us do so with eyes opened to the ways in which we can live, with joy, the lives of those who expect the coming of our savior.


About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We are expecting a Savior

  1. Christian says:

    Good piece. I just don’t know how to live as you describe.

  2. Anton Vanterpool II says:

    To rephrase a old Christmas song: “It’s beginning to look like Advent.” Advent is a good time for us to start new on the Church year to come. My tradition is not to play Christmas music on CD or iPod until the First Sunday of Advent. I’ll wait for the old tunes to bring back memories and the newer recordings to add their special charm to an old song or to bring life to a new composition.
    The last day for Christmas music should be Epiphany. It gives me a chance to say to God through sending his son to us “Thank you for the music, for bringing him to us” on earth as it is in heaven.

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