First Sunday of Advent -Year A
|Isaiah 2:1-5||Psalm 122||Romans 13:11-14||Matthew 24:36-44|
Do you long for peace? A time where implements of death will be fashioned into farming instruments used to bring forth fruitful life. Although there are differences of opinion concerning the eschatological nature of this passage, could it be possible to interpret this text both literally and spiritually? A prophecy having a dual fulfillment with Christ establishing the Church which ultimately leads to His literal reign over the earth with Jerusalem being the capital. With this thought in mind, the tension of times – or the kingdom now but the not yet concept – presented during Advent season could be highlighted.
Regardless, of what position you adhere to concerning the “end times.” It is clear that we are invited to walk in the light of the Lord. This light is one of peace and not war. We have hope for a better day coming through God’s sovereign plan of redemption. No matter how it unfolds.
The joy of the house of the Lord is meant for you and me! Although there are many points to ponder in this great Psalm of Ascent, I would like to turn to the progression from the singular personal pronoun of “I” (v.1) to the plural possessive pronoun of “our” in v. 2 and finally the term “tribes” in v. 4. In my opinion, this reveals that our worship may begin with our zeal, but this enthusiasm for worship should culminate in corporate worship.
If the Apostle Paul viewed the day of redemption being at hand? How much closer is it now? This simple truth should have a sobering effect on the modern Christians. The Apostle John states,
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3 (KJV)
This is the same exact message that the author of Romans was conveying. Knowing our redemption is nearer, we should “…behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy” (NASB Rom 13:13). In short, ask yourself if Christ came back at this moment, would I want Him to find me doing this?
There are two advents of Christ. The Season of Advent for modern believers should include a reflection on the incarnation of Christ. However, the incarnation is only the first half of the story of redemption. Christians should be alert with anticipation for the glorious Second Coming of Christ. Although there will be many distractions, our sole priority should be looking to the heavens with great expectation. HE IS COMING AGAIN!
Preti, Mattia, 1613-1699. Christ in Glory, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56024 [retrieved November 23, 2016]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Triumphant_Christ.jpg and Web Gallery of Art..