Bishop and Christian*, December 2014

We are now in the season of Advent, which means “coming.” During Advent, the 20-odd days prior to Christmas, we both celebrate a coming and remind ourselves that we are waiting for a coming. We are celebrating the first coming of our Lord in humility as the Son of a Virgin, but we are also waiting for His second coming in glory to judge the quick and the dead. Advent is a season of being roused by God’s Law to repentance and, hearing His Gospel, we watch in hope and holy fear for His coming in judgment. We do not, of course, fear that we will receive a judgment of damnation—though complacency and apathy can easily set in if we forget that there will be a judgment. We repent of our unfaithfulness and pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to recreate us in the image of our faithful Lord, Jesus. For all of these reasons, we need a full time of Advent. Already the day after Halloween, the ads are out for Christmas shopping. By the time we actually get to December 25, we are worn out and just ready for it all to be over. The way to a proper and fitting celebration of the Nativity of our Lord is by a proper and fitting preparation during Advent.

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