Which post-Christmas camp do you fall into? Do you drag your tree out to the curb immediately and vacuum up the needles so there’s no trace of holiday left in your house? Or do try to preserve the Christmas spirit as long as possible, despite the fact that your tree has become a brittle skeleton by mid-January?
Whatever your habit, the Christmas season always comes to an end. Eventually we tire of the music, the presents, the decorations. The cookies get eaten. The tree just can’t make it in that little can of water.
Unlike the Christmas season, which is over in the blink of an eye, the kingdom of God has staying power. There’s that word stand in verse four, a word that John Calvin says shows “that the kingdom of Christ would be durable and permanent.” It’s a persevering word.
When Christ comes again, the kingdom will flourish forever. Trees won’t dry up. Gifts won’t get old. Joy won’t wear off.
“Christ,” Calvin says, “will not only rule his Church for a few days, but his kingdom will continue to stand through unbroken series of years and of ages.”
Let’s look forward to that day—a day that will inaugurate perpetual peace, perpetual joy, and the constant presence of our savior.
Prayer: Lord, immerse me in the spirit of your kingdom and not only in the holiday season. As I meditate on these verses, let me be reminded that your kingdom has no end. I rejoice in that fact and look forward to your coming!
The Advent devotions follow the Common Lectionary texts. You may use the devotions in a number of ways, but you are encouraged to do the following:
Read the passage through at least once. (Each devotion includes a link to the Scripture passage for the day.)
Reflect on the passage and pay attention to how God might be using it to speak to you.
Read and consider the devotion.
End in prayer. You may begin with the prayer offered at the end of each devotion or pray your own prayer.