Something we like to say in the church is: “Every Sunday is Easter!” The implications of this statement are absolutely filled with hope and promise, as the church proclaims every time that she gathers to worship, “We worship a risen, living Savior!” If we look at how all of this began, however, we understand that before Jesus could live, die, and resurrect from the dead, prophesy had to be fulfilled, and He had to leave His throne in Heaven to be born of a virgin, Mary. God’s people were looking for a Messiah. They were expectantly waiting for God to send someone into their lives who would rule and reign. God’s people were living in a season of Advent. They were promised a Messiah, and they were waiting.
Before Easter could happen, Advent had to happen first, and this is why Advent begins the liturgical, Christian calendar each year. We cannot celebrate a resurrected Savior without His birth taking place. So each year, the church gathers together to remember Christ’s anticipated arrival into this world. God-incarnate made His miraculous entrance into this world in the form of a baby, born to a woman who was a virgin in a stable among dirty animals. God promised Jesus’ coming into this world, and He fulfilled that promise in the most beautiful and unusual way.
This baby—the Son of God—became a man and began His earthly ministry. Jesus lived a perfect, holy, sinless life on this earth. He did what absolutely no man or woman in this world could ever do. He was obedient to His Father in Heaven in everything He did; however, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Corinthians, 5:21, ESV). Jesus, who was sinless, became sin in order to pay the penalty of sin, even unto death, and He was buried in a tomb. Scripture teaches, however, that on the third day, Jesus arose from the dead, conquering sin and death!
After His resurrection and spending forty days on this earth, Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9). And while His disciples watched as He ascended two men appeared to them saying, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). The same promise that has been given to the disciples in the book of Acts has been given to you and me. Jesus Christ will come again! This is an incredible promise of God, just as incredible as Jesus’ first coming into this world.
So here we are, living in a season of Advent. As Christ-followers, we are expectantly awaiting Christ’s return to this earth. While every Sunday, I do believe, is Easter for the Christian church, as we seek to worship a risen Savior, every Sunday is also Advent, as we gather together expectantly awaiting Christ’s second-coming to this earth, knowing that He is coming to accomplish the will of His Father and, to once and for all, defeat Satan. If we worship a resurrected Savior, we certainly cannot turn our minds and hearts away from this promise of God in our worship. So what if every Sunday were Advent in our churches. As pastors and leaders, what should we be seeking to accomplish in our worship planning and leading in order to lead God’s people in this season of Advent?