Today is the third Sunday of Advent — a season observed by Christians as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the incarnation and birth of the Second Person of the Triune Godhead.
The term advent is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. And so, this season of Advent is also about a second advent or second coming — His return at the end of all things.
And how do we know that He is the One?
Having created us with the ability to reason, God fully expects us to use our minds — to good purpose.
Did you know that even John the Baptist did not believe blindly, but used his rational faculty to sift through the available empirical evidence and determined that Jesus indeed was whom he was awaiting — “the one who is to come”.
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
So, on this third Sunday of Advent, do not be disheartened by the darkness of our culture, polity and society, but take comfort in these words from the Epistle of James.
Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.
May the peace of love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!