Week of December 4
The Preparation for the Kingdom
Prayer from Anglican Book of Common Prayer
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, learn, mark, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your Holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Read Isaiah 11
The word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). It was written for our instruction; without it, we are condemned in our human nature. To study the Word is a gift, for even angels long to look at the things God reveals to us as we read, annotate, and learn just how marvelous our salvation is (1 Peter 1:12). In Jesus we receive salvation and reconciliation with God and also the promise of Jesus in his glory, made possible for us by his fulfilling the whole law (Matthew 5:17).
This second week of Advent is an opportunity to ponder what it means to be redeemed and refined, protected from wrath by God’s power through faith in Jesus. We have been born again through the living and enduring word of God. In this new life, we study the Old Testament history, poetry, and prophecy to fully understand the implications of the New Covenant in Christ. We learn to view suffering as the Lord’s refining, not his punishment. We devote ourselves to learning the Word so that we clearly understand the purpose of the past, the peril of the present, and the promise of the future.
There is a day coming when Jesus will return to reign in full glory, but that day is not yet. The prophets are clear that there will be great suffering and a turning away from God throughout the whole world before his return to establish his kingdom. The end of days will be unlike any other historical moment in intensity, terror, and woe (Ezekiel; Joel 2; Malachi 4; Matthew 24; 2 Thessalonians 2; 2 Peter 3). At the end of that day, however, King Jesus appears, not as a baby, but in all his brilliance (Revelation 19). In the interim, we can study the written Word, follow the Living Word, and learn to walk worthy of His calling (1 Thessalonians 2:11) in preparation for his Kingdom come.
- Seek the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a holy life.
- Rejoice that you have access to the written Word of God.
- Let your love of the Body of Christ be the cry of your heart.
Read Matthew 5
- How does Jesus fulfill the Law and the Prophets?
- What picture does this pericope (passage of scripture) paint for you of the kingdom of Jesus?
- Seek the Son of God whose first incarnation fulfilled prophecy.
- Rejoice that you are a child of your Father in heaven.
- Let your love of the Body of Christ be the desire of your spirit.
Read 1 Peter 1
- How can you show sincere love for your brothers and sisters in Christ during the Advent season?
- What picture does this pericope paint for you of the kingdom of Jesus?
- Seek the Father in reverence for His holiness
- Rejoice that the Holy Spirit is at work in you.
- Let your love of the Body of Christ be the focus of your intercession.