Getting Ready for Advent 2019
In addition to our regular Sunday readings from Scripture, we have two theme texts for Advent: Titus 2:11-14 and a classic Christian passage from St. Augustine.
First the texts, and then a brief explanation.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
This passage from St. Paul's letter to St. Titus clarifies an important fact in the life of the Christian disciple. We live between two "appearings" of Jesus. Notice in the passage: "the grace of God has appeared" and "waiting for . . . the appearing." We have faith the flows from the grace of his fist appearing. We have hope that flows from the future into the present as we await his second appearing.
St. Augustine, in his famous work "The City of God," teaches us about our destiny in Jesus's second appearing (or second coming, or second Advent).
“THERE we shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we shall love; we shall love and we shall praise. Behold what shall be in the end and shall not end.”
-St. Augustine: ‘The City of God,’ Bk. XXII, Chap. 30.
As we pray and worship and sing and study through the season of Advent, we are pressing from faith into hope. Our hope allows us a foretaste (or down payment, or appetizer) of our destiny in Christ: "we shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we shall love; we shall love and we shall praise." And we are training into this faith and hope (cf. Titus 2:11-14).
So these are our six words for Advent: rest, see, love, praise, hope, and training. We'll hear scripture, sing songs, and offer prayers that set our lives alight with the goodness of God's past, present, and future, graces.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)