Advent invites us to be awake to the Coming of Jesus, and this year we’re giving our attention to how the Coming of Jesus brings both Comfort and a Call. For this first week of Advent:
Ø The Comfort: Jesus is our Peace. In his first coming, Jesus restores our relationship with our Father and Creator, initiating an inbreaking of Shalom that begins and reaches culmination when he comes again.
Ø The Call: Be Ready. As we wait for the second coming of Jesus, we partner with him in cultivating peace in our place. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace….”
On Sunday, when we step into Advent II, we’ll revisit a theme from the two weeks preceding Advent: Judgment.
The Comfort: Jesus is our Judge. It may be surprising to think Jesus coming as a judge is comforting. Consider, however, our deep longing for the righting of wrongs—this is the work of God’s judgment. At his Second Coming, Jesus will meet that longing with authority. Come, Lord Jesus, and set our world(s) in order! (Read Isaiah 11:1-10 and Psalm 72 for a preview.)
The Call: Bear fruit. “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance,” is the call that comes from John the Baptist ahead of the first coming of Jesus (Matthew 3:8). At his first coming, Jesus the Judge dies on the cross so that our hearts can be set in order, freeing us from deserved judgment (more comfort!), and freeing us to participate with Jesus in setting our world(s) in order. Repentance—turning from our ways to Jesus—means more than ceasing to do wrong; it also means living rightly. Bearing fruit reveals the life we’ve been given through the coming of Jesus.
“Jesus comes to you and is calling you. Will you respond and let him arrive in your life?”
Your Pastor in Christ,