2009-12-13 / Opinions

Through the Stained Glass

BY PASTOR DAVID MCCLOSKEY

Season’s greetings to all.

Well, we have made it to the last month of another year. For most people this time of the year is filled with preparing. Most of us have finished the last of the turkey leftovers that were so lovingly prepared for us on Thanksgiving day. We are preparing our houses with twinkling lights, ribbons and bows and all kinds of evergreen wreaths.

The Christian Church is also preparing.

While She prepares in some ways like the world, She decorates. She puts up lights and displays and often uses lots of evergreen wreaths and garland. But the most important work the Church does is preparing the hearts of Her children to celebrate the coming of Her King.

I have a question for you. When you think of preparing, the Advent season, the Christmas story do you ever think of the book of Jeremiah? Yes, Jeremiah. The Old Testament prophet who had the wonderful task of constantly telling the Israelites that they were like a babies poopy diaper in the eyes of YAHWEY.

So, how could this remind us of Advent, because Jeremiah is about preparing and waiting. Its about preparing the sinful hearts of Gods people for His coming promise and then faithfully waiting for God to fulfill His promise. One of the few “happy” prophecies of Jeremiah come at 33:14- 16

Jer 33:14-16 (14) "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. (15) In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. (16) In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.' (ESV)

Jeremiah longed to live in the days of Gods fulfilled promise of this prophecy. We do live in the days which Jeremiah longed to see. With the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, we live in those days where God the Father fulfilled His promise. Yet we also, like Jeremiah, live in a time of waiting and preparation. The Lord has come to His people. He has taken the punishment for our sins and paid with His life and has ascended into heaven from where He will come again. So now we wait in the hope and glory of the resurrection. But we still struggle with human hearts. Hearts that don’t like to wait, particularly in today’s day and age of high speed internet, instant messaging and the like. These hearts need to continually be prepared and nurtured.

This preparation takes place in various ways. It takes place in your daily devotion, at your family bible studies and most importantly at your weekly worship service. It takes place when we confess our sins and receive absolution. It takes place as we receive the very body and blood of our Lord at His table. With this preparation we are give all we need to continue to wait for our Lord for He is the “righteous branch” of the promise. He has come and executed justice and righteousness on earth and He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead.

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