Luke is writing to Gentile believers. These were the followers of Jesus who, though not born into Judaism, nevertheless participated in synagogue worship. These “Godfearers” also represent the fact that faith in Jesus opens up faith in God to all people. As the apostle Paul wrote, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:28-29). The God of Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam, Jacob and Rachel, is fully available to all people. The LOVE that is coming in the birth of Jesus is a love for everyone. Thus, the E of our acronym stands for Everyone.
Luke encourages his readers to stay alert. He reminds them to not allow the present, troubled times to weigh them down and cause them to be distracted by worry. “Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus encourages our every step through life. Even in times that are shaky, Jesus beckons us to follow his lead (Leader), to enter his way of being (Order), to know that redemption is near through faith in him (Victory), and that this invitation is open to all (Everyone). LOVE is coming. It is coming through the actions of God who sends his Son to live among us so that we will know a life worth living—filling each day with activity that is meaningful and imbued with the love of God and the God of love, not just for ourselves but for others as we serve in Jesus’ name.
Guide our steps through this season of Advent, O God, so that the love we know in Jesus becomes the love we share with others. Amen.
As we prepare our hearts for Advent, the celebration of Jesus’ first coming, we remember in Jeremiah that the birth of Jesus has a deep background, a background rooted in God’s promise to David. Psalm 25, traditionally credited to David, speaks of God’s faithfulness to those who follow the paths of the Lord. David asks God to teach him to follow God’s paths even more closely. The New Testament readings actually point us toward Jesus’ second coming. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to excel in holiness and love while they wait. In Luke, Jesus discusses the coming of the kingdom in a passage that some find confusing. We note that he focuses not on the exact time frame of the arrival of the kingdom but on our need to be alert
Read Jeremiah 33:14-16. How have you experienced the promises of God in your life?
Read Psalm 25:1-10. How has the Lord taught you and led you in the path of your life?
Read 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. Is there a faith community for which you pray in joy? How else do you express your gratitude for that community?
Read Luke 21:25-36. How are you approaching Advent this year? What will you do to prepare your heart?
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