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Advent means coming. Jesus is the One who was and is and the One who is to come. During Advent, Christians consider the manner of His coming.

Jesus has already come once. God's Son was born as a human being and atoned for our sin. We celebrate this first coming of Christ on Christmas. Although Christmas is observed in the congregational worship services and the home, it has also been found to be beneficial to hold a special pre-Christmas celebration during the Advent season. Such a celebration offers an opportunity to sing the old familiar Christmas carols and to engage in fellowship with our fellow believers. We recall the message of Christmas and get into the proper spirit for the celebration of the festival. In the midst of the Christmas rush we think of the message of the angel: "Unto you is born a Savior" (Luke 2:11). It brings us joy and helps us patiently, in a spirit of love, to prepare for Christmas.

Jesus comes to us continually through the Gospel and the Sacraments to which faith adheres. With the season of Advent we begin a new church year. Advent is also an exhortation for us to keep on using the Word and the Sacraments. For in them we have Christ. The Word and the Sacraments become precious to us when we understand that Christ, God's Son, who has shed His holy blood for us, is present in them. If we forsake preaching that is in accordance with God's Word and Christian worship services, we are actually telling Jesus: "Do not come near me. I do not need you." Of course, Christians should not listen to just any type of preaching. They must listen with the ear of a sheep and determine where Christ's voice is heard, and follow this voice alone. They must constantly compare the preaching with the Word of the Bible.

One day Jesus will come to all people at the same time in a visible manner. This date has not been revealed to us. At that time Christ will conduct the judgment. Those who, here in time, have placed their trust in the blood of Christ, will be saved from eternal wrath. Those who have not believed in Him will be condemned to eternal damnation. Now we are in the time of grace. Let us prepare to receive the King of kings. Therefore let us watch and pray!