Advent is the season in the church in preparing and awaiting the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Christmas. For years I have incorporated this formula in my teaching and preaching.
Jesus will Come Again
First, the historical Jesus lived over 2000 years ago to walk and talk and preach and heal the infirmed. As a young man, for all he did for others, he suffered and died carrying our sins with him on the cross. His resurrection connects Christmas with Easter and Jesus’ Ascension into heaven giving us the promise of eternal life.
Second, Jesus is present in the lives of those who profess to believe in him. Advent hope is grounded in the Incarnate Christ who continues to live in the hearts and minds of those who believe Christ continues to live in and through us today. For people of faith living in community, we are the living, vibrant body of Christ doing God’s work in the world today.
Third and most challenging to explain: Jesus will come again. We don’t know the when or where or how Jesus will come again. As Matthew says, “no one knows the day or hour—but only God”! What I know for sure: Scripture promises that in some way Jesus will come again. Until then, my hope is in God who is always present with us and known to us through the living Christ.
There is a simple advent prayer: Come Lord Jesus, Come! This prayer is asking for God to tie together the past with our present experiences and the hope we have for his future reign as the Son of Almighty God.
 I appreciate seeing this formula in the writings of a number of preachers and scholars down through the years. Dr. Robert Chesnut was the first.