Christmas reminds us that we can claim the victory today. Theologians speak of realized eschatology, which means last things. That means we can live now in the light of Christ's victory.
When I was a child, I remember carefully looking, feeling, and shacking the presents under the Christmas tree. There were many times I could figure out which presents were mine, because I turned in my "wish list" early, and I at least got a few things that were on that list. I was already enjoying the pleasure of the future event, namely the opening of my gifts. Only Christmas would reveal it in its fullness.
That is realized eschatology, enjoying the wonder and the majesty of the victory, even though it is not been fully accomplished. Enjoy your victory today in Jesus Christ!
Advent/Christmas reminds us of the Christ child who came into our world some 2000 years ago. Advent/Christmas also reminds of the coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time-coming, as our scripture today says, "....on clouds of glory."
That's a mysterious term, "Coming on clouds of glory." It is intended to be. Clouds are the biblical symbol of mystery and of the presence of God. "He is coming with the clouds," says Revelation 1:7. "Lo, I am coming to you in a thick cloud," said God to Moses at Mount Sinai. A cloud symbolizing the divine presence covered the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 40: 34-36). When the New Testament says that Jesus is coming with the clouds it is a powerful symbol of mystery and divinity. It reminds us that God is with us. We are not alone!
I remember reading about a teller at the drive-in window of a bank who was having difficulty with the glaring sun. He lowered the shade. Behind the shade he could see customers as they drove up, but they couldn't see him. As one woman drove in, the teller punched the button. The money drawer opened just as the woman came to a stop. She put her check in the drawer and the draw withdrew. Seconds later the drawer rolled out again with her money in it. She took the money and stared at the window. She couldn't see anybody. Then she said, "I know you are completely automated, but I want to thank you anyway."
It is really nice in our automated world to have someone we can thank, especially during this season of Advent and Christmas. I think it is sad that many people have a feeling of gratitude, but they have no one to thank. We do have someone to thank. So, let's share the joy of the coming of a savior, Jesus Christ, with others.