Given to the Soldiers of the Minnesota Army National Guard by Seminarian Scott at drill
The Lord is Coming
Pastor Scott Adkins
2nd Sunday in Advent B, 12/7/2014
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!
In case you didn’t know, we are now in the second week of the time of the year called Advent, which is the month before Christmas. During Advent, we as the Church take a moment both to remember how Christ came into the world and how Jesus said that he would come back again. So Advent is a time of anticipation.
But that makes sense. This sense of anticipation is brimming around everywhere, isn’t it? Thanksgiving wasn’t even over before people started crowding the stores for Black Friday, the Christmas decorations are going up, and we are waiting for Christmas Eve with baited breath it seems, for that special few days with family, friends food, that new Xbox game that you wanted and a good beer.
However, the darker side of that anticipation sometimes rears itself too. What if Christmas means that you spend the holiday alone? Or if buying presents is not possible for you or your family this year, or at least bulges your credit card uncomfortably?
Our Scripture reading for today has something to speak into all of this. In our reading from the beginning of the oldest Gospel, we get to literally hear some “good news”- that’s something we don’t get to hear very often, now is it?
The good news, oddly enough, is about waiting. The prophets from the Old Testament tell us that the way of the Lord is being prepared. John the Baptist, the final prophet that baptizes Jesus, tells the people that Jesus is coming. And he doesn’t mince words either. Here is John, highly respected by the community, and he says that this next guy is so great that he is unworthy to untie his shoes.
That same message is true for us today. We are told in Scripture by Jesus himself that He is coming soon, just like those Jews at the river with John heard. So what do we do about it?
The main thing that we can do is “prepare the way for the Lord” just as the Old Testament Prophets said. We don’t do this by cleaning up and rolling out the red carpet though, we do this by what John preached: repent and be baptized!
By repenting of our sins and going through the sacrament of Holy Baptism we prepare a place for God’s Holy Spirit to live within each of us, allowing us to be together with Jesus in the Body of Christ until Jesus does return himself. By this way we get to belong to Christ and he says to each of us, “You are mine.”
Whether Christmas anticipation is a good thing to be cherished or something to simply struggle through, we all have something real and exciting to look forward to. We get to look out for the coming of the Son of God, and this is what Christmas anticipation is all about.