Fleming Rutledge on the value of considering the incarnation of Jesus after considering the second coming:
Does Advent run backwards? The movement is from the second coming to the ﬁrst coming; it doesn’t seem to make sense. The season begins with the last things and ends with the nativity in Bethlehem. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?
Not really. The rhythm of the church’s seasons turns out, in this as in so many other ways, to be theologically profound. If we began with the nativity and then moved to the last judgment, we would be so softened up by that little baby in the manger that we wouldn’t be able to take the second coming of Christ in power seriously. The solemnity and awe do not lie in the fact that the baby becomes the eternal judge. What strikes us to the heart is this: the eternal Judge, very God of very God, Creator of the worlds, the Alpha and the Omega, has become that little baby.
Fleming Rutledge, Advent – The Once & Future Coming Of Jesus Christ, Eerdmans, 2018, pg 60.