Saturday of the Week of Advent I

first_10843c“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority… Amen.” Jude 17-25

When you read the whole of the appointed epistle lesson for today, you will find some practical, useful words from Jude, the brother of James. This short epistle is the last in the canon of Holy Scripture, just before Revelation. It is a fitting location for this little letter, which deals with those who, apparently tired of waiting for the Lord’s return, are now doing as they please. Jude tells his readers “you must remember… the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”

We easily see parallels between Jude’s time and ours. There are those today who scoff at Biblical truth, turning away from Scriptural teaching, affirming all manner of immoral behavior. Divisions have arisen, then, between those who seek to hold to the Word of God and those worldly people who embrace the ways of the world. How are we to deal with Christians who scoff and follow their own ungodly passions?

Jude exhorts us, saying, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit…wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear…” These are meaningful “marching orders” for those of us struggling to remain faithful in these last times.

But even more, Jude closes his letter with a proclamation of Jesus Christ who will keep us faithful and unstained. Jude writes, “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory…be glory, majesty, dominion and authority…” We will stand and not fall—we will be presented without blemish only through our Savior Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus Christ, keep us from falling and present us without blemish when you come again in glory. Amen.

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