Most of us are aware that Advent is by nature a season of waiting. Rather than rushing into the full celebration of Christmas, we train our hearts to wait, anticipating the joy that accompanied the birth of the Savior. In today’s reading, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that as Christians we have our hope fixed on the return of Christ in the second Advent. Yet even now, each day brings us a new expectant watching for ways that we may serve Christ in this season of waiting.
- Revelation 21:1-8
- Watch for the Light, 201-204
- Bonhoeffer begins by explaining that Advent is a time for self-examination before God (201-202). Consider his questions: “Are you rightly prepared for Jesus’ return? Is your heart capable today of becoming God’s dwelling place?”
- How does God judge the evil in Christians differently than He judges the evil in the world? What does Christ have to do with the way that God sees us when it comes to judgment?
- Have you always believed that “God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be – in our sin, in our suffering and death?” (203) How does this truth shape the way you respond to the Lord when you have fallen into sin?
- Today’s reading returns to the idea that we minister to Christ through the way we receive “the least of these” here on earth (204). Who will you see today that needs to be treated as you would treat Christ? What specific acts can you take to bless individuals you know you will encounter?
Pray for the Lord to fix in you an attitude of expectant and joyful waiting for the Lord to return once and for all as King of kings and Lord of lords. It may help to read and meditate on Revelation 21-22 as you anticipate what it will be like when the second Advent arrives and Jesus begins his eternal reign.