I straightened my bow-tie for the fifteenth time in one hour; I would soon be walking down the isle. The lawn had been meticulously groomed for months, the flowers well watered and fertilized at just the right times to make sure that the driveway would be in full bloom with red and white flowers. Our guests had arrived and were seated in the perfectly aligned rows of chairs, and the food was ready to be served right after the ceremony. All our preparation had come to this moment. It was something that we had anticipated for months.
That was over twenty-two years ago and I can still remember the great effort that we made to make sure that our wedding ceremony was beautiful.
Today we enter another season of preparation and expectation. It isn’t unlike preparing for a wedding, in fact Revelation likens the return of the Son of Man to that of groom awaiting the arrival of the bride. Advent is a time when we enter the season of waiting and preparation.
From a spiritual perspective, we wait in expectation desiring to be ready for the Lord’s return. The picture that Jesus paints for us is like having a steady monitoring system with all systems ready to respond. It coincides with Paul’s admonishment to remove the dark deeds like dirty clothes and put on the good-looking clothing of right living so that everyone else can see that this day that is coming is important and worthy of being prepared.
The image of clothing ourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ has this glorious shine to it that comes when we are enraptured with the mystery of God providing grace. We demonstrate our focus on being clothed with Jesus by taking of the grace that he so freely offered through his death on the cross. And so we come to the Table and receive the gift of Jesus Christ so that we remember to be clothed in the forgiveness and grace provided for us.
Then we can join in with the psalmist by declaring that God is our light the one that illuminates our way and makes us his radiant witnesses to a dark and dreary world.
And the result will be that when we come from the mountain of the Lord, radiant with his mercy and grace that we become his agents of peace in this world. The injunction of Isaiah is that we as witnesses are to walk in the light of the Lord!
Let us be the peace of Christ to a dark and hopeless world as we practice the presence of Christ and anticipate his return. Come, Lord Jesus.