Advent is, above everything else, a time of waiting. It is, in a sense, an acknowledgement that we are in the midst of an “in-between” time. We are in-between the First Sunday of Advent and the Christ-mass. We are in-between the ascension of Jesus Christ and His second coming. We are in-between our birth and our death. We are living in that time between our baptism into Christ’s death and that day when we will be buried, literally, in Him after our earthly death. Our Advent journey will cause us to hear, regularly, texts from Holy Scripture reminding us that we are waiting, and these same Biblical texts will call us to consider how we are to use this in-between time.
Our Lord Jesus speaks in the Gospel reading for this day about this in-between time of waiting, responding to the question, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?” He answers, saying, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them…do not be terrified…the end will not be at once.”
The most important words of Jesus in this passage may be: “This will be a time for you to bear testimony.”
We are in a time when Christians are being challenged and persecuted for holding fast to the truth of God’s Word. The world around us, and many who call themselves Christians, have forsaken the truth and even now are embracing false teaching. And how are we to occupy ourselves during this in-between time? We are to use this time to bear testimony! We are to use this time to boldly proclaim that the kingdom of God has come near. We are to preach and teach and witness to God’s unchanged and unchanging truth! If this Advent season serves no other purpose, may it give us time and opportunity for bearing testimony to Jesus Christ, who came, who comes, and who will come again!
“Lord, keep us steadfast in thy word. Curb those who by deceit or sword, would wrest your kingdom from your Son and bring to naught all he has done.” Amen.