St. Peter is writing in today’s epistle reading to remind his readers, but also to arouse them by way of this reminder. Advent serves as a reminder as well, but it also seeks to arouse us! To remind us of what, and to arouse us to do what?
Peter goes on to say, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” He then recalls how the voice came from heaven, the Father acknowledging Jesus as His Son, saying, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased…” This is what Peter wished to remind his hearers of then, and us now: that the incarnation of God made flesh in Jesus the Son, at Bethlehem, is not some cleverly devised myth, but the truth. Peter, himself, heard the voice from heaven declaring this to be so! Now that we are reminded of this truth, what are we aroused to do?
Peter continues, “you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts… first of all, you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
If Advent serves any purpose for you and for me, let it serve as a reminder to us of these things: that we believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, who became incarnate from the virgin Mary, and was made man. Let us “pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.”
Lord Jesus Christ, in this season of Advent, as days grow shorter and nights longer, be the light in the darkness of our world—dispelling fear and doubt and drawing all people to the truth of your incarnate presence. In your name we pray, Amen.