K. Chesterton, English literary critic, mystery writer, and Christian apologist wrote a poem entitled “The House of Christmas.” It centers on the theme of home, the idea that Christmas contains the truth and purpose and meaning for which all human beings long. Chesterton believed that our searching brings us “home” to the stable where Christ was born: “To the end of the way of the wandering star, / To the things that cannot be and that are, / To the place where God was homeless / And all men are at home.”
We have looked at the four themes of Advent seen in the Bible: hope, love, joy, and peace. Each of these is found in Christ. They’re certainly found in the Christ of the Christmas story (v. 11). He came as the living embodiment of God’s grace to offer salvation to all. Without God’s love in Christ, none of us has any hope of peace with God.
These themes should be found in our lives as followers of Christ (vv. 12, 14). “Grace teaches us”— the sense here is of training a child toward mature adulthood—to live righteously. We’re to say “no” to sin and worldliness, and “yes” to godliness and the fruit of the Spirit. The hope of salvation spurs us to love one another and to rejoice in the Lord always.
In addition, the four Advent themes will be found in the Christ who is coming again (vv. 13–14). This is where we as His people find ourselves today—between Advents. Waiting, in this case, is not a boring duty, but a joy-filled privilege or “blessed hope.” His return will bring sinful human history to a close and usher in the Millennial Kingdom— human life and the rule of God as it was meant to be experienced!
>> As your thoughts turn to the coming new year, we invite you to spend some time pondering the opportunities to which you will say “yes” or “no.” Do your choices fit well into verse 12?