Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah was just one of the prophets that foretold of Jesus’ birth. But so many of them waited patiently and foretold of something, someone that they would never see or meet in their lifetimes.
Perhaps you too have had one of those rare occasions when you have a “gut feeling,” a foreboding, an intuition or even a visceral response to circumstances–like a prophet. Isn’t it difficult to communicate that to others? Yet these men, mere mortals, were brave enough to say that a Messiah was coming! It took vision and courage beyond what most of us can imagine.
How does one ready themselves when bravery is required?
By waiting. And watching for the signs. In a word, Advent. I wonder, if the Lord sent any of us a sign about the impending salvation of our loved ones, would we be waiting, watching to see it? Would the subtlety of the sign escape us? Or would we have the same vision and courage of our prophets?
In the First Week of Advent, God calls his people out. He lets them know He is on to them, He commands them–us–to repentance, to “cease doing evil, and to learn to do good.”
In the Second Week of Advent, God tells us through Isaiah and other prophets that changing our habits is not enough. He demands an attitude change. We must humbly submit ourselves to the will of God. But we don’t know the will of God, and that’s what makes that such a scary command.
Return to the Lord
In the Scripture Reading for the Second Sunday in Advent, the Lord calls His children—the people of Jerusalem—to return to him. Freed from sin, they must mourn their past and leave it behind, but they refuse. Instead, while they should be preparing their souls for the coming of their Savior—their Messiah—they celebrate, and God vows to humble them.
Prepare for the Coming of Christ
Perhaps this scenario seems familiar to you during this “holiday season” that we now know as Advent. All around us, people long ago abandoned their belief in Christ, but they have hijacked his birth celebration to make merry every December. We are encouraged, tempted, even compelled to join in. After all, It would be rude to refuse the invitations of friends and coworkers to Christmas parties, right?
In a recent News broadcast, it was reported that the office Christmas party may have been the trigger point for the terrorist couple in San Bernardino who shot the husband’s co-workers at his office. Click here to read the story. Don’t get me wrong, I think this young couple had an extreme response, but it makes me ask a lot of questions at Advent.
- Could this group of coworkers have misrepresented Christmas to a foreign couple?
- Did this Muslim couple understand that there was more to Christmas than Rudolph noses and antlers? Did the co-workers?
- If you don’t recognize Jesus as a Savior, why the pressure to celebrate Christmas?
There are a lot of lost people celebrating Christmas, but are they celebrating Christ? If we choose to join in to the holiday revelry, we need to always remember the reason for this season—Advent—which is to prepare ourselves not only for the coming of Christ at Christmas but for His Second Coming at the end of time. Because just like the prophets, we don’t know when we will be called upon to do something brave. I want to be prepared, do you?
This week in Advent, we honor the prophets for their preparation and courage. Read along with me in this second week of Advent. Click here for the Advent Guide for Week Two.