Thinking aloud on advent
Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “coming.” In the Christian understanding we have the first and the Second Advent. The first had to do with when He came as a child, while in His second coming, He is coming to judge “both the living and the dead.” Indeed, the Second Advent is not a tea party and believers are to be put on red alert for nobody knows the day or the hour except the Father, (Matt. 34:36). It, therefore, calls for two quick actions.
First, the child of God is expected to spend time in prayer, seeking the face of God. The suddenness of His coming entails that we should be on guard. The writer of the gospel of Matthew advices us to “watch and pray,” (Matt. 26:41). It is essential for things that will make a believer to fall headlong are all around us. For example, the sin of lust of eyes, lust of flesh and the pride of life.
That is why the advent collect is very apt here: “Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility: that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever, Amen.” This prayer should be on our lips all through this period.
Second, we are called upon to fast. The essence of the fasting is to help us mortify the flesh so that things that could have weighed us down are jettisoned at this level. We know the flesh is always struggling against the spirit but through our fasting at this time God will give us victory. The important thing is to make time to fast and not to allow ourselves to be crowded out.
It is true events around the globe such as wars, flooding, earth tremor, environmental pollution, high cost of living and the likes may tend to weaken the faith of believers. However, children of God should not lose faith in themselves and by extension in God their Maker. What they need to do is to intensify their prayer and fasting, as this is a surest way of keeping them so as not to be taking unaware when the Lord returns the second time. His coming is certain and could not be wished away.
Therefore, whatever it will take us to keep focused on the advent let us do them to the glory of God. Remember Christ is coming again and only the prepared will meet with Him. Are you ready? Think deeply about it!
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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