Reflections: Friday of the First Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Romans 13:11-14
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 9:8-10:11; 1 Peter 5:1-14

For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Wake up! He is coming! He will be here soon! Get ready! The days of Advent pass quickly, and soon Jesus will be here. Christmas is in 21 days; will you be ready? The Church is always in a state of tension. Eagerly awaiting the coming of the Savior, we recognize that “salvation is nearer to us now” than ever before. Each day that passes on this earth is a day closer to when Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. It is on that day that we will see our salvation face to face.

What a day of great joy that will be, for no longer will we live in a land of darkness, a land filled with sin and death. Given a new heavenly body perfect in every way, all who are baptized and believe in Christ will receive everlasting peace because of His death on the Cross. Living in the new heavens and earth, we will no longer struggle with the things of this world. 

Until that time, however, we will daily continue to struggle against our own sinful flesh. Because of the faith we have been given by the Holy Spirit, we are called by God to walk properly and live as forgiven sinners. Children of God, you and I must fight against the passions of the flesh. We cannot do it on our own, so we return each and every day to our Baptism. There we drown the old Adam and put on the new man in Christ. Then we go forth speaking and acting as God intends us to, keeping the commandments of God, living in the forgiveness we have been given.

This time of waiting passes quickly, but we have preparations to make. Things must be done. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ means we must return each day to the pages of Holy Scripture. It is there that we read, mark, learn, and take all the things God wants us to know and to do to heart so that we might live in the light of Christ while we await His return. Our salvation is near. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Hurry. Do not delay in bringing the blessed day when the hope of happy redemption will be fulfilled. For this reason you have ask us to pray: Your kingdom come. Since you have so commanded us to pray, give us grace and help to pray diligently, firmly believing that we shall finally come to such glory. Amen. (Luther’s Prayers)

Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.