Advent: Day 18

Daily Office Lections: Zechariah 3:1-10; Revelation 4:1-8; Matthew 24:45-51

I love the antiphon for the Invitatory Psalm during the season of Advent: "Our King and Savior draweth nigh: O come, let us adore him" (1979 BCP, p. 43). And in the reading from Revelation, we get a glimpse of the heavenly adoration of He who draws near, a glimpse of the heavenly dimension of worship which is veiled to our eyes in the present age but which we nonetheless join in the Liturgy. We hear a line of that eternal song --- "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come" (Revelation 4:8).

And, as I've often said this Advent, we have to prepare to encounter the living God. Thus, we need to be prepared when he comes again. For as Scripture teaches and the Creed says, "He will come again to judge the quick and the dead." As St. Paul writes, "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."

How will our Master and King find us? Faithful or faithless? Righteous or wicked? How we live as Christians between the advents matters. As St. Paul says in Philippians 2, we are to "work out work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling." We don't do this in order to become sons and daughters of God but rather because we are such. And as such we have grace, both habitual and actual. We have the Holy Spirit that dwells in us by virtue of Baptism.

So let us not resist or grieve the Spirit, but walk in the Spirit and be led by the Spirt. And where is he leading us? Unto Jesus. He draws us unto to our King as our King draws near unto us.

Fr. Matt+