Second Sunday of Advent: Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 27 (or Luke 1:68-79); Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6
We come to the Lord’s House so that we might offer our heartfelt worship to the Lord.
‘One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the House of the Lord…’ (Psalm 27:4). What are we doing when we gather in the Lord’s House for worship? This is what we are doing – ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage’ (Psalm 27:14). Where does our strength come from? It comes from God: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation… The Lord is the stronghold of my life’. Strong in Him, we say, ‘My heart will not fear… I will be confident’ (Psalm 27:1, 3).
We come to the Lord’s House so that we might receive encouragement from the Lord and be changed by the Lord.
Do you feel like you can`t go on? Do you feel like giving up? Here`s God`s Word of encouragement for you: ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:6). God finishes what He starts – ‘He didn`t bring us this far to leave us. He didn`t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn`t build His home in us to move away. He didn`t lift us up to let us down’. In all the changes of life, we must remember this: God is faithful. His love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. We don`t keep going because we are strong. We are ‘kept by the power of God’ (1 Peter 1:5). Called to live ‘to the glory and praise of God’ (Philippians 1:11), let us remember that God is “the refiner’s fire” (Malachi 3:2). He is “the “purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3). May our “faith, of greater worth than gold” be “refined by fire.” May our “faith … be proved genuine.” May our “faith … result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7). We have been “called” to “be holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). As we seek to walk with God in holiness, let us never forget this – “you were redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
We come to the Lord’s House so that we might receive strength from the Lord and be sent out to proclaim the Word of the Lord.
We sing our song of praise to the Lord – “Blessed be the Lord God …” (Luke 1:68). May we grow “strong” in the Lord (Luke 1:80). John’s message came from ‘God’(Luke 3:2). He did not begin with love. He preached about sin and divine judgment, warning his hearers to ‘flee from the wrath to come’(Luke 3:7). He called for ‘repentance’(Luke 3:3, 8). This was not what people wanted to hear. Before we can rejoice in the Good News concerning salvation, we must recognize our sin and our need of salvation. John prepared the way for Jesus. ‘All have sinned’, ‘The wages of sin is death’ – This is the ‘bad news; which prepares us to receive, with joyful thanksgiving, ‘the Good News’: ‘the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’(Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23).
The Bible Readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary – Year C.