By Dustin Neeley
In this short passage, the apostle Paul lays before us a significant gospel feast.
He sets the table by telling us that the coming of Jesus now offers salvation for all people. What wonderful news for sinners like us! Next, he reminds us that gospel grace trains us to walk away from sin and into holiness and communion with God, on mission for his glory. What wonderful and compelling truths! Solid food for those who want to keep growing.
But then Paul invites us into the season of Advent in which we now live—a season of waiting between the first and second coming of Christ. Like a pause between dinner courses, it is a season between fullness and joy through his Spirit on the one hand, and the emptiness and sorrow of living in a fallen world on the other.
Each time we hear good news, we can look forward to the day when we will experience the ultimate good news—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Similarly, when we hear tragic news, we long for this day as well, and pray for and work to bring the kingdom until it comes in full.
In a sense, we experience Advent not only in December, but each day of the year. May God fuel us to live for his glory today as we await his glorious return.
Prayer: Sometimes we are so focused on what we dream of, long for, and even groan for, that we forget what you have already done in the birth of Jesus. Sustain us with joy in your salvation and remind us of your new mercy every morning as we wait for all things to be made new.
Dustin Neeley is pastor of Refuge Church in Franklin, Tennessee. The 2016 Advent devotions were written by RCA church planters and parent churches.