Monday, December 1, 2008

Time in the Word Advent 2

The dominant theme of this coming Sunday is preparation for Christ’s coming. John the Baptist is sent to prepare the people for Christ’s first coming by preaching a Baptism of repentance. In the Old Testament lesson the Lord calls for a way to be prepared for His coming. The Epistle lesson deals with the Second Coming and the end of the world. Christians are to prepare by living blameless lives. The suggested Psalm of the day indicates that righteousness shall precede God’s coming. As we focus on John the Baptist’s words he calls on us to prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming. On Advent 1 we were assured that Jesus is coming again. This Sunday we prepare for His coming. As the Gospel suggests He may be coming to some for the first time; for all He will be coming a second time at the end of time.

Collect for Advent 2Stir up our Your power, O lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Weekly Book of Concord Reading, Advent 2Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article VIII—The Person of Christ

[The Gospel for to-day is the account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday amid shouts of acclamation. Those who shouted ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!’ clearly recognized the promised Christ, true God and true man.

Dr. Luther wrote shortly before his death, ‘According to the human birth Christ was also given the eternal dominion of God, yet temporarily and not from eternity. For the human nature of Christ was not from eternity as His divine nature was. From the moment when deity and humanity were united in one Person, the Man, Mary’s Son, is and is called almighty, eternal God, who has eternal dominion, who has created all things and preserves them “through the communication of attributes,”…because He is one Person with the Godhead and is also very God. Christ refers to this in Matthew 11:27: “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father,” and in Matthew 28:18: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” To which “Me”? “To Me, Jesus of Nazareth, Mary’s incarnate Son. I had this from My Father from eternity, before I became man, but when I became man, it was imparted to Me in time according to My human nature, and I kept it concealed until My resurrection and ascent into heaven, when it was to be manifested and glorified.”’

Christ promised that He—He, the man who has spoken to us, who has experienced all tribulations in His received human nature, and who can therefore have sympathy with us—He will be with us in all our troubles according to the nature by which He is our brother and we are flesh of His flesh. (¶85, 87)

Excerpted from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord, edited by Paul T. McCain, et al., © 2005 Concordia Publishing House, p. 595

Monday, 1 December 2008Psalm 80:1, 8a, 9b, 7; Antiphon, Psalm 80:3—The psalmist prays for the restoration of God’s people, remembering the deliverance God wrought through Joseph. In Advent, we, too, pray for restoration—restoration from the bondage of sin. The vine out of Egypt of verse 8 recalls the flight of the Christ-child into Egypt to avoid Herod’s persecution. That Vine has taken deep root and filled the land, and it is through Christ, who is the Vine, that we have been restored.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008Psalm 85—Another psalm asking God for restoration, Psalm 85 recounts the forgiveness of the Lord in the past, and prays that He might once again make known His steadfast love, or mercy.

With confidence, the psalmist can say, ‘Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.’ For the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord do meet in the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; there, righteousness and peace kiss each other. (v. 10)

Wednesday, 3 December 2008Isaiah 40:1–11—‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ the Lord instructs Isaiah. Release from the bondage of sin is at hand. The voice crying in the wilderness shall prepare the way for the glory of the Lord to be revealed. The Word of God which stands forever shall assume flesh in order to bring comfort to the people by removing the blot of iniquity. Then He shall ‘tend his flock like a shepherd.’

Thursday, 4 December 20082 Peter 3:8–14—Isaiah wrote his prophecy of the coming of Christ seven hundred years before He came. It must have seemed an interminable amount of time for those who lived during those years, wondering when God would fulfill His promises. But the Apostle Peter reminds us that the Lord has His own timetable, and a good purpose for accomplishing things in His own time. He further admonishes us to be ready for the Lord’s Second Coming at any time, and to live lives of holiness and godliness waiting for that day.

Friday, 5 December 2008Mark 1:1–8—In fulfillment of the words of the prophets Isaiah and Malachi, John the Baptist comes to prepare the people for the coming of the promised One. The coming of Jesus Christ is Good News (Gospel), Mark proclaims boldly at the outset of his Gospel, but we must be prepared for His coming. John the Baptist prepared the world in his day, and continues to do so in our day, by calling people to repentance, urging them to confess their sins, be baptized.

Saturday, 6 December 2008—The hymn of the day, On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry (LSB 344), recounts the Old Testament and Gospel readings of the work of John the Baptist. It closes with a doxological stanza which proclaims the Good News that Jesus’ ‘advent sets Thy people free.’ This is Good News, indeed!


LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO


Luther’s Works: American Edit Edition. 55 volumes. (Volumes 1 ion. 1-30, Concordia Publishing House; volumes 31 31-55, Fortress Press)

Pr. Jeffrey Keuning, Dexter IA contributed to the December Time in the Word

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