Today is the beginning of Advent, the season of preparation for the coming of Christ! How fitting, then, that Psalm 122 is a song of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The writer asks that we pray for peace, especially for Jerusalem. Perhaps it is fitting for us, in this season of expectation...
Loving God, I enter this time of anticipation with gratitude for the One I await. I am grateful for the time to focus on my “armchair pilgrimage” to Bethlehem. May the gifts I want to bring to the baby Jesus be the gifts I willingly and lovingly give to the world. Amen.
Advent is a season for turning our minds to the coming arrival of the Christ child. Isaiah looks forward to a future day when peace will reign in Jerusalem. All nations will come to hear the wisdom of the Lord. The psalmist rejoices in going up to Jerusalem in his own day. Jerusalem is a center of peace and a place for righteous judgment among the nations. Both readings inform Jewish expectations of a bright future with the arrival of the Messiah. Paul tells the Romans that part of receiving the reality of the Messiah is self-preparation. We should put aside immoral living and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew looks forward to the future return of the Son of God, which will happen at an unexpected time.
Read Isaiah 2:1-5. How do you look to the Bible’s stories, prayer, and the Holy Spirit to help you work toward God’s reign?
Read Psalm 122. What does it mean for you to pray for peace?
Read Romans 13:11-14. How do you stay awake to salvation’s nearness?
Read Matthew 24:36-44. Who in your life lives as though they expect the Son of Man? What does it look like to be ready to meet Christ?
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