Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44
Advent is a powerful liturgical season ordered to the mystery of Christ's coming. He comes as the Prince of Peace to establish the ways of God as the standard of all that is genuinely human - and He does this personally for each one of us. This is what Isaiah 2:1-5 indicates - the mountain of the Lord is not merely raised up physically, but spiritually, above all other human affairs and powers. What is his mountain but the place where we meet Him? It is a place of theophany. It is at once the Temple Mount, and the mountain of our own hearts. The place of encountering the living God is meant to be the center of human activity, the apex of each life. Christ comes into our lives to bring us to this place of deep contemplation where the creative power of God's word is manifest and peace is established.
In this season, He is always coming in mysterious ways, and those who are humble, hidden in the life of faith are made ready for a great joy. He never stops coming in invisible spiritual ways while we await his final coming in Glory. Each of these new comings of the Lord anticipates that definitive moment of judgment at the end of history, but also prepares of for the moment of our own death -the personal judgment we recieve when we come before his Face. If we are not to be overcome by fear, we must spiritually join with, identify with, the lowly remnant who faithfully awaited his historical coming - which they could not know would be in poverty and humility. These are the ones who walked in the light of the Lord, who longed for peace, who lived in the world spiritually awake. When He came in the surprising way He chose, they could not have anticipated his marvelous ways - and they could not help but rejoice.
By Anthony Lilles