The enchantment of the Advent season is upon us, and Christmas Day is nearly here. Like many folks, I put my Christmas lights up early this year. Traditionally, I get out my ladder and put up our decorations the day after Thanksgiving, but this year I thought the first week of November would be better! I cannot tell you exactly why earlier seemed better this time, but I think it had something to do with the bleakness of 2020 and my desire to prematurely take hold of what the Christmas season has to offer – the coming of Jesus Christ.
Many people have heard of Advent and know it as an annual time set aside to remember and anticipate the coming of Christ into the world. But how can we both "remember" and "anticipate" an event? To "remember" requires an occurrence in the past, while "anticipating" means the event is still to come. In the original Greek of the New Testament, the word Advent is "Parousia." When translated there, the term references not the first coming of Christ, i.e., his birth, but his second coming in glory. Yes, there are two Advents – the one occurring two thousand years ago in a manger in Bethlehem and the one Christians around the world are yet "anticipating" – the one that will see the Lord return to the earth, as he said, "coming with the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62).
As Christians, we long for the second Advent – the day when Jesus intervenes in the affairs of this world and makes things right. But until then, we exist as "anticipators" and continually long for that day. I think this longing was what was behind my Christmas lights going up early this year.
This issue of the Principal's Pen does not explicitly address Advent or the Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity, but as you will see, the theme of "anticipating the coming of Christ" is undoubtedly apparent in the lives of the people profiled in the articles. This month, you will read a piece about parents going the extra mile to support our teachers. You also can read about a few Berean community service projects going on despite the pandemic. Finally, you'll notice a feature article on a group of Berean students who produce our student newspaper. There's something extraordinary about young people who sing their peers' praises by writing about them!
May the Lord find us all supporting, serving, and singing the praises of others when he comes back.
God bless you all this Christmas!