Advent Devotional - December 3

December 28, 2021

Mark 13:24-37

But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 

reflection

The church always begins Advent with a story from the Gospel of Mark that is called, “The Little Apocalypse.” The word “apocalypse” means revelation. As a literary genre, apocalyptic literature reveals the mysteries of God’s future, the time when God in Jesus will come again. The language of apocalyptic literature is strange and unfamiliar. It is not what we typically think of as a part of Advent. 
 
The truth is, the church has long held out two expectations for the Advent season. The first, and most familiar is the birth of the baby in the manger. The second is the expectation of the coming of God’s Kingdom. That time when the full reign of God will come to the present day. Scripture describes this time as the coming of the “new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21).”  The time when all of creation will be restored to God’s intended design.
 
It is what God promises, longs for, desires for the entire world. The world will be full of God’s glory. Justice shall be restored, resources (even our precious resources, yours and mine) will be shared, hunger and poverty will be no more, and the systems that create and perpetuate them will be destroyed. Those who have suffered, are heartbroken, and been be brought low by life will be lifted up, and the full potency of God’s boundless love will be available to any and all who would seek it.

The hopeful Advent expectation of God’s coming Kingdom is something that we practice actively. It is as my friend Mitri Raheb says, “Hope is not something we believe, hope is something that we do.”

Advent reminds us that as we celebrate the coming of the baby Jesus while also being Christ’s light in the world today. We are called to brighten the “darkness” we find in our lives and in the world around us as we wait for the coming again of the one who is the Light of the World. How can you practice sharing the light of Christ this Advent season?

prayer

Dear God, thank you for the gift of Christ in our life. Help us to actively live our Advent call, waiting with hopeful expectation and spreading your light in the world.

about the author

Rev. Sarah Johnson is the Associate Pastor for Discipleship at PHPC. She is a native of North Carolina and is also working toward her Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke Divinity School.

 

today's act of kindness

Light one candle and meditate: Hope looked down and saw despair. "I will go there," said Hope. 

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