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Second Sunday of Advent (YEAR 2013)

Meditation on Today's Scripture:
God's plan of salvation included not only the Jewish people but all the nations of the earth as well. Through his death and resurrection Jesus makes us citizens of heaven and friends of God. The Lord Jesus wants us to live in joyful hope and confident expectation that he will come again to fully establish his kingdom of virtue and peace. The prophet Isaiah foresaw the day when God would raise up a Messianic King long after King David’s throne had been overthrown and empty for centuries. God promised that he would raise up a new king from the stump of Jesse, the father of David. This messianic king would rule forever because the Spirit of God would rest upon him and remain with him. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be equipped with the gifts of the Spirit with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. This king would establish the kingdom of God, not by force of human will and military power, but by offering his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world. Through his death on the cross, Jesus, the true Messiah King, would overcome Satan, overcome death, and win pardon and reconciliation for sinners. Jesus tells us that John the Baptist was more than a prophet. John was the voice of the Consoler who is coming. He completed the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. What the prophets had carefully searched for and angels longed to see, now came to completion as John made the way ready for the coming of the Messiah, God's Anointed Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. With John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to the human race of the "divine likeness", prefiguring what would be achieved with and in the Lord Jesus. John's baptism was for regret turning away from sin and taking on a new way of life according to God's word. Our baptism in Jesus Christ by water and the Spirit results in a new birth and entry into God's kingdom as his beloved sons and daughters. Jesus is ready to give us the fire of his Spirit that we may give out the joy and truth of the gospel to a world in distressed need of God's light and truth. His word has power to change and change our lives that we may be lights pointing others to Christ. Like John the Baptist, we too are called to give testimony to the light and truth of Jesus Christ.
Today's Scripture: Matthew 3:1-12 (December 8, 2013)
Prayer ...
Holy God and Righteous Father, give us a passion for Jesus and a heart that knows him in word, deed, and concern. In the name of Infant Jesus, your mighty Word, we pray. Amen.
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