Next Sunday we'll be entering into the season of advent, and just a few days away from Christmas. We know that advent is a season of hopefulness. Advent reminds us of the need for hope in our earthly life. Hope keeps us going. When we lose hope we get frustrated and at times some may get depressed. When there is no hope some may even think of suicide. Hope is an essential part of human life. this can be found in almost all the religions of the world.

For instance, Muslims are hoping for the coming of Esa Nabi. Hindus believe and hope that from time to time the avatars or incarnations of their god Vishnu will come to the world to redeem it. In this present era or Uga, called Kali Uga, they are expecting the coming of Kali. Buddhists are waiting for the coming of Martini Buddha. According to their belief Buddhas appear from time to time to proclaim the truth or Dhaka.

We Christians are hoping and waiting for the return of Jesus, which we call ‘The Second Coming’. How should we understand this Second Coming? Let us first look at the background to this.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, His followers expected him to come back soon. The way in which they understood the words of Jesus made them expect this event during their lifetime. According to the letter to the Church in Thessalonica, some people waited without working, expecting the Second Coming very soon.

But if we look carefully at the words of Jesus in the Bible we can see that he clearly said that even he was not aware of the exact day of his coming again. But he said we should be ready at any time. He gave us parables to stress this point. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins is a good example of this.

We know Jesus came to this world two thousand years ago as a baby and after His death and resurrection, today is alive in our world. Then why should we wait for His second coming?

Let me give an example. It is something like learning a new language. Think about learning English. I began to learn English some years ago. I am still learning English. I will be learning English in the future. My learning English has three dimensions - past, present and future. Similarly, the coming of Jesus has three dimensions. He came. He is a present reality. He comes, and the fulfilment is in the future. So his coming is an ongoing and growing process. As Christians, we are called to grow in this process.

I believe in the context of our multicultural and religious society we need to understand this coming in the light of the universal hope of humanity.

As we prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas let us remind ourselves of God’s coming – how he came to us two thousand years ago as an infant, how he comes to us at every moment, and how he will be coming again in the future.

How should we get ready for his coming? By getting involved in the activities of his kingdom in our world. this is what he taught us to say and expect in the Lord’s Prayer "Thy Kingdom come and they will be done on earth as it is in heaven."