Despite the attempts of our culture to make this season a time of instant gratification in the here and now, I believe that the Advent and Christmas seasons, at their core, are a time to remember. In our families, we gather around the tree and hang ornaments that we made...
I recall your work on my behalf, O God. You have extended your graciousness to me, and I am grateful. Amen.
Hopeful anticipation characterizes this week’s texts. God’s people have come to terms with their inability to save themselves. Isaiah 40 states that Jerusalem has “served her term” in bondage to sin; a new era is about to dawn. Psalm 85 continues the theme of old sins forgiven, emphasizing an urgent need for some fresh outbreak of God’s initiatives. Harmonious and responsible relationships are to dominate the hearts of the people. Thoughts of righteousness and peace also pervade the passage from Second Peter. Yet the focus is clearly on Christ’s Second Advent. His coming will be sudden and unannounced; the new creation will then appear. The Gospel text focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus as John the baptizer comes to sensitize all hearts to the advent of the One promised long ago.
Read Isaiah 40:1-11. God’s word of comfort brings challenge as well. How are you preparing the way of the Lord?
Read Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13. What glimpses of heaven in your daily life give you confidence in God’s steadfast love?
Read 2 Peter 3:8-15a. How are you using this time of Advent waiting to move toward more faithful living?
Read Mark 1:1-8. What is the new thing that John the Baptizer could teach you? How will you get ready for the coming of the Christ child?
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