ADVENT SECRETS “The mystery that was kept secret for long ages…” Romans 16:25b
As a child, the season before Christmas seemed to take forever because, until Christmas day, I could not open any of the wrapped packages. WHAT WAS INSIDE THE WRAPPED PACKAGE? WHAT WAS THE GIFT? That may be how the people of the Old Covenant felt about the Messiah. There were hints along the way as to what the Messiah would be like: a descendent of Abraham, an offspring of King David, a suffering Servant, one born in Bethlehem. But then, for a long period, there was no word of God when or how the Messiah would come. Because they had no word of God, false prophets made up promises of their own. The Messiah would lead them from Roman Captivity and restore Israel to the glory days of King Solomon. But when and how the Messiah would come remained a mystery.
The Old Covenant people of God earnestly longed for the coming of the Messiah. Now this mystery is revealed, the mystery that the Church teaches her children in the Advent Season. This is the revealed mystery for which the faithful waited with patience. The Mystery kept hidden until the fullness of time. This mystery, kept secret for long ages is revealed in a Bethlehem manger. The revelation of His coming revealed by Angels to Shepherds was not so clear to others. There was nothing remarkable about Him, that we should desire Him. He lived but thirty-three years when His life was taken from Him. But His Life did not end; His life keeps giving life. For neither cross nor grave could conquer that life.
That gift of the Father is no longer a secret. That gift is revealed to you and to the world. That gift kept secret for long ages is the Son of God Himself Jesus Christ. Born for you. Come for you and to you. The long hidden secret is no longer hidden. In Jesus we see the Love of the Triune God for all sinners. Oh do not delay; the time is now, the day is come. Taste and see that the Father’s gift hidden in flesh is your Savior and Lord; God in the flesh, now wrapped in bread and wine for you – Salvation, Life and forgiveness of sins for you. No longer an Advent Secret but a source of unending Advent Joy.