Second Sunday of Advent 2018
In advent we prepare ourselves for the arrival of Jesus, past, present and future.
Today we reflect upon Jesus’ arrival in yesterday’s Bethlehem, embrace His arrival in our experience today and prepare for His arrival in our tomorrow.
God, in His Son Jesus, has made Himself known, is making Himself known and will make Himself known.
God making Himself known in the birth of Jesus was glorious.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
God making Himself known in daily life is powerful too.
Consider the miracle of the axe head floating. 2 Kings 6:1-7
Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. 7 And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
God loves to make Himself known in powerful ways in the material things of our day to day lives.
- In miraculous provision.
- Food (manna and Quail) in the desert for the people of Israel. Exodus 16
- Miracle catch of fish. John 21
- Multiplying fish and loaves.
- John 6:1-15 – Feeding 5,000 with five loaves and 2 fish (12 baskets of overflow)
- Mark 8:1-13 – Feeding of the 4,000 with seven loaves and a few fish (Seven baskets of overflow)
- He makes Himself known by continuing the wedding feast by turning the water into wine, saving the parents from embarrassment and providing for the joy of the wedding guests
- He makes Himself known to the disciples by miraculously providing money to pay taxes. Matthew 17:27
- He makes Himself known by healing paralysis, leprosy, withered hands, calming storms and raising those who have died.
God loves to make Himself known in our tomorrows too and we are in search of ways to prepare ourselves for God’s Self-revelation.
Can I prepare today for a greater Self-revelation of Jesus tomorrow?
Today’s Second Sunday of Advent text is Malachi 3:1-4
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
From our text we learn things we can do to prepare the way for God’s Self-revelation.
- The preparer is sent by God. 1 “Lord, send me to prepare my heart for your arrival.”
- The preparer prepares the way for the Lord. 1 “Lord, may I prepare my heart for the way of the Lord rather than for my personal preferences.”
- When the Lord arrives in the prepared place, it can be something to be endured as being in a refiner’s fire and being scrubbed with fuller’s soap. 2. “Lord, your Self-revelation is worth everything to me. Please give me grace to endure the fire and scrubbing necessary to prepare me for your revelation.”
- In the process I am becoming like refined and purified silver and gold. ‘Lord, I celebrate the results you are producing in me and I come as a purified offering of righteousness to you.”
- Preparing the way of the Lord followed by His arrival is making me pleasing to Him.
Thank God for His Self-revelation through:
- The first Christmas.
- The material things in our lives.
- Preparing my heart for His arrival tomorrow.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.