Prepare to listen. Light the 1st purple candle and pray: Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. (Ps 25:5)
Read: Luke 21:25-28
‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
Christmas time isn’t about fainting ‘from fear and foreboding of what is coming soon!’ It’s about joy and peace because Jesus has entered the world. Right? Apparently not. You see, Jesus entered the world as a baby to inaugurate the kingdom of God that will come to full fruition once Christ returns ‘with power and great glory.’ As a result, Christ’s coming includes judgment on the earth. This isn’t something that should send us into a doom-and-gloom despair, but rather cause us to rejoice, to ‘stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’ Redemption for individuals, for communities, for the world, for all creation is here. In Jesus, God is restoring all creation to its original goodness. Rejoice! His coming isn’t a terror but cause for exuberant joy.
Christ will come in power and great glory. Think about big issues that cause you to despair (political or personal disasters, church scandals and abuse, etc.). Now think of Jesus coming to judge all that is opposed to God’s will; bringing in full redemption. Stand up and raise your head and rejoice.
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Lord of all Creation, thank you that you are coming with power and great glory and you are bringing full redemption for me personally and for all creation nearer and nearer each day. May I keep the faith to the end. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world, stand up, raise your heads because your redemption draws near.