Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent and Waiting

Advent is not about us; it is about God. However, any season that invites waiting and other holy practices can quickly devolve into a focus on the practices as the ends themselves rather than the means to the primary end—God. Notice that 2 Peter 3:11 includes both the means and the end, but in their proper order and perspective, “Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way [at the day of the Lord], what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness.”
If the preachers and prophets of the church are doing their job, they will draw attention away from their own self-serving and congratulatory practices (Oh look at you, you’re dressed for a baptism!), and towards the one who is to come (The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me). In fact, John the Baptist is a model prophet in this regard, for although he is remembered for a particular practice—baptism—he proclaims that even his baptism pales in comparison to baptism in the Spirit, “I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8).

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