Second Week of Advent
As we enter the second week of Advent we light two purple candles. In the second week the Advent book I used with my children celebrates the love of Advent and the example shown by Mary, whose love for God created such an obedient and willing heart. I believe Mary is the best biblical example of living in the will of God. From our first meeting of her in the scriptures where she answers Gabriel, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38), to the words she spoke to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5), even on the last day of Jesus’ life when she accepts the new son He gives to care for her from the cross (John 19:26), we find Mary always doing God’s will. Is there any other way to do the will of God if not motivated by love? Father John Eudes said, “True obedience is impossible without intimacy.”
It is because our souls want to be reunited with God’s love that we understand the need for repentance. Mark 1:4 tells us, “And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Love is the expression of true obedience. When we love God we repent of our sins and receive even more love than our souls could expect when we are offered complete forgiveness and are given as a gift the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which brings with it eternal life in heaven.
Advent is about waiting. Just as Mary waited for the birth of Christ, as we celebrate Advent we remember when Christ was born, and we wait for the re-birth of Jesus in our own souls. We will never fully contain Jesus and the righteousness He offers us until heaven, but our Christian journey is an ever-deepening experience of the birth and growth of Christ in our hearts. Our spiritual lives on earth can be seen as a gestation period. Jesus is conceived in our souls at our salvation, and we grow pregnant with Him as we love and do His will until He is fully formed in us.
Advent is not only about Jesus’ birth and His re-birth in our hearts; Advent is also an anticipation of the second Advent when Jesus comes for the second time to earth as the Conquering Savior of the world. Jesus established His heavenly kingdom in all believers before He ascended to heaven, and He celebrates Advent with us as He waits for the day and the time the Father tells Him to return to earth and make all things new.
God has given us the gift of waiting. Advent summons us to wait. It reminds us that our lifetimes are about waiting on God’s will to be revealed in us. Here is an advent prayer:
“Lord God, we light this candle to thank you for your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Way. We who like sheep have gone astray have found the way to you through Jesus Christ. We give you thanks and praise in Jesus’ name because he lives and reigns with you in your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
May your experience of waiting this Advent season remind you that you are ever waiting to see the glory of Jesus revealed in you and in the world.