This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent. Wherein the first Sunday we were encouraged to be watchful and “stay awake” in anticipation of the coming of the King of Kings, today we are reminded that God did not leave humanity without a messenger and a message to help us prepare for the King’s arrival. The messenger of the first Advent, the birth of Christ, was John the Baptist, whose message was to “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” and who described the King as one who is, “mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.”
While we anticipate celebrating that first advent, we are also compelled to prepare for the second advent, when Christ, the Anointed King, will return to establish His kingdom in its fullness. We are not without messengers and without a message in this present age of anticipation. The message of the apostles is that as we await Christ’s return we are to, “be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” We, the church, are founded upon their ministry and message and are therefore messengers to the world that God desires to reconcile His children, restoring that relationship of father and child that was tarnished by our rebellion.
Of our own effort, our rebellion against the heavenly kingdom has rendered us unworthy to even untie the sandal of the King who has come and who is to return. The message of the apostles to us (and us to the world) is to be diligent in our own preparations, here and now, so that when the King returns He finds us as honored citizens who, through the imputation of His righteousness, can be found without blemish and at peace.
(as published in St. Luke’s weekly newsletter, 12/5/18)