First Sunday in Advent 2009 ~ Watching

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“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promised I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;

he will do what is just and right the land.

In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety.

This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.’  (Jer 33:14-16)

On our first Sunday of Advent, we watch and wait in anticipation of the fulfillment of the promise. Our perspective however, is much different than that of the exiles. Imagine being far, far from home with only this promise to hang on to. When the Lord says that the ‘days are coming’, you don’t know if it will be tomorrow, four weeks, or forty years. You only know that He has been completely faithful to you and your people since you fell under His protective gaze.

Our modern perspective is much different. We know how the promise has been kept and we live in the danger of taking that for granted. Our anticipation is muddied, our vision of eternity filtered through a thick San Fernando haze. The Advent season can become just another tradition in which we ‘remember’ historical acts but fail to apply it to our lives. We can restore the joy and the quickening that comes with anticipation. We can restore the memory and the life of faith that comes with a Kingdom that has come, but not yet.

Let us lift ourselves out of the busyness and the stresses that the culture has inflicted on this season and aim our sight into eternity. We can rediscover our purpose and anticipate its completion. We can separate ourselves from the worry and strife of daily life and look forward into a new heavens and new earth. The Messiah promise has been kept. The promise of new life is yet to come. Celebrate both.

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