Exhortation: First Advent 2014…

Today is the start of the year for Christ’s church, the first Sunday of Advent. It is a day when we change the colors of the vestments, from the white of celebrating Christ the King Sunday to the purple of royalty. Jesus comes to us as Prophet, Priest and King, both in His humiliation and His exaltation.

As we celebrate Advent, we look in two directions. We look back in time, to see Christ’s first Advent…His humiliation. Conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin, Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, dead and buried. And we see in the Scriptures, particularly in Luke, the astonishing GLORY of that humiliation…a heavenly host, the armies of the Living God, appeared in the heavens, accompanying Yahweh’s single-combat Champion…the Son of God gone forth to war in His manger-chariot. Manger to cross…one thing. And bearing the stamp of Yahweh’s glory throughout. As we, by God’s providence, are in the passion from the pulpit through Advent and Christmas…do not lose that. This is something that God says is GLORIOUS.

And we know that Jesus was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. Our ultimate Prophet, Priest and King has gone from His humiliation to His exaltation. Even now, the Scriptures tell us, He sits at the right hand of Yahweh, until the nations become His footstool. He ever intercedes for us and His whole church, constantly pleading on our behalf His atonement for our sins and the cleansing power of His shed blood…that we might stand before His Father and our Father.

And we look forward. Even still, we know that He will come in glory to judge both the living and the dead…and that His kingdom will have no end. Jesus Wins. And because He wins, we win in Him.

These things…what has been, what is, and what will be…they are the very stuff of Advent. They are not just, however, things that were are and will be. They are part of our lives, O Christians. Advent, because of the finished work of Christ on our behalf, is not something outside of us, it is something within us. Through Advent we will be talking about that, and what it means.

Glory be to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.

Amen

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