The Comfort and Call of Advent III
Jesus is coming! The Comfort and Call of Advent continues:
The Comfort: Jesus 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.
The Call: Be Ready. As we wait for the second coming of Jesus, we partner with him in cultivating peace in our place.
The Comfort: Jesus our Judge. Jesus our Judge is wise and understanding, righteous and compassionate. At his first coming, he was the Judge who was judged in our place that he might offer us forgiveness and the Spirit of the LORD, initiating new life within us. At his second coming, he will be the Judge who will re-order our world according to the Father’s Shalom.
The Call: Repent. This day and every day, turn from your way to Yahweh to receive forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.
This Third Sunday of Advent, the readings point to the Comfort of Jesus our Healer. Isaiah yet again prophesies of Jesus bringing wholeness to all of creation (Isaiah 35); Jesus points to men and women he’s restored as evidence of his messianic identity (Matthew 11); and James writes of the healing that comes through faith, confession and forgiveness (James 5).
Each of these Scriptures, however, also speaks of the challenge of waiting for healing: burning sands and deserts before streams of water, empty fields before rains and growth, and John the Baptist languishing and longing in prison, second-guessing his bold declaration of Jesus as the long-awaited groom. The Call, then, that comes in the midst of waiting: “Be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8).
Let’s come together this Sunday, encouraging one another to remain steadfast as we confidently look to Jesus to come and bring his healing into our lives.
Your Pastor in Christ,