Advent is about the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God promised the Advent or coming of His Son, Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament , we look expectantly for the Advent of God’s forever King just as Prophet Isaiah declared, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is 9::6). In the New Testament, the angel brought the good tidings of great joy by announcing the birth of the Saviour, who is Jesus Christ (Luke 2:8-11). Advent points us to the key Biblical themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that will ultimately come to their fulfilment in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Regardless of how hopeless our circumstances are, Biblical hope waits expectantly for God to bring His goodness to bear in our present and future. At Advent, we don’t just look at the past, we look forward to a better future, eternal life in Jesus Christ. In the Bible, the Advent of Jesus is the arrival of peace and peace in the Bible context is not just the absence of conflict but a pointer to the Ultimate Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Biblical joy is not base on material things or circumstances of this temporal life but an attitude that believers adopt in view of God’s love, promises, and the anticipation of Jesus’ Second Coming. Considering the fact that ‘the Bible is this planet’s best selling book,’ Advent invites us to rethink the Bible especially in considering ‘the embarrassing incidence of biblical illiteracy among professing Christians.’ Professor Robert Wall in his Lecture, 2018, ‘Rethinking the Bible,’ published in the Wesleyan Theological Journal, Volume 53, Number 2, Fall 2018, explained that, ‘Christians of all kinds not only buy the Bible but gladly affirm it as God’s word, and so seek out its teaching to secure their beliefs and practices.’
Advent offers a missional opportunity to do this bearing in mind that ‘Bible reading … is a Spirit-sanctified practice of an earnest discipleship.’ Using the words of Wall, Advent shaped by the four key Biblical themes could help us to overcome ‘the rise of scepticism and disaffection of many who were raised as Bible-believing Christians.’ The challenge is that ‘the rise of scepticism’ among others ‘has created a cultural atmosphere that has become flat-out hostile to the church’s affirmation of scripture’s authority and the presumption of its continuing relevance for the next generation of believers.’
We are therefore in an age of ever-increasing apostasy, however, we have several books in the Bible written to help us with what Jesus called the great falling away. Advent shaped by Biblical themes reminds the Church as the Bible’s principal address hence, the need to overcome ‘a cultural atmosphere that has become flat-out hostile to the church’s affirmation of scripture’s authority …’ Bearing in mind that, ‘the Bible’s future is in trouble in our post-Christian and pissed-Christian world,’ Advent summons us to rethink the Bible with emphasis on hope, peace, joy, and love, which God sent with Jesus Christ. Advent that rethink the Bible points to a living hope of an inheritance reserved in heaven (1 Pet 1:3-5). Advent that rethink the Bible seek peace through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Advent that rethink the Bible with the coming of Jesus Christ first time, live with hope, peace, joy, and love till His Second Coming.