Fourth Week of Advent
Join us this Advent as we take time to read scripture, meditate, pray and welcome Christ in our lives anew. This is the first of four devotions written by a couple in our church. God bless you as you journey through Advent.
Just one more day! We are almost there! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!
A long period of waiting and expectation is almost over, but on this very last day of Advent two more serious questions need to be addressed:
- In the book of Revelations 3:20 we read: “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” This sounds wonderful, but the rest of verse 20 suggests that opening the door will have consequences. Prior to his knocking, it is really up to us how to live our lives. Once we open the door, Jesus says he will come in and share a meal with us. This is still great until we realize its implications. In the Gospel of Luke there is a story of two disheartened disciples on their way to Emmaus following the crucifixion of their master. Jesus joins them on the way and they beg him to come to their home and share a meal with them and Jesus concedes. Luke writes: #now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened” (Lk 24:30-31). When we open the door and let Jesus come into our lives, our eyes will be opened to a great number of things we failed to see or succeeded to hide. The question to each of us is: are we willing to take the risk of exposing ourselves to his nearness, revealing a lot of unlovely things, shortcomings in us, trusting his loving-kindness to forgive us and accept us as we are?
- The disciples and the early church lived with the expectation that the promised return of Jesus was at hand, remembering his sayings about vigilance and preparedness. They were together praying and “breaking bread” (Act 2:42). As months and years have passed, partly due to persecution, they had to adjust their behaviour without abandoning their fervent expectations. In due course they expected to be mocked: “Where is the promise of his coming?” (2 Pet 3:4), yet they prevailed. Today, almost 2000 years later, we pray every Sunday “may your kingdom come”, probably without fully realizing the consequences of what we say. Imagine that actually it is going to happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. Would we live our lives differently if that was the case? If so, in what manner? We are called to radical discipleship and it means also to pray wholeheartedly and joyously “Marana tha - Come Lord Jesus” (Rev 22:20) and fervently hope that our prayer will be answered very, very soon.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Let us therefore live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Tit 2:12-13).