The second candle of advent was lit today in recognition of the prophets.
The prophets heralded the coming of Christ, the day of the Lord.
This week we're focusing on waiting for the day of the Lord.
"The second candle on the Advent wreath is associated with the prophets and, in particular, their prophecies of the "one who is to come." With this candle, therefore, we are waiting for the future and all that it might hold."
The day of the Lord...it can bring different pictures to mind. Isaiah for instance was talking about the day of the Lord meaning deliverance for Judah from the Assyrians. But he was also referring to the day of the Lord meaning Jesus being sent for our redemption. Today, when one references the day of the Lord, we automatically think of the end of times, and the second coming. Either way, all three are instances of God's people waiting for the day of the Lord. The day of our redemption and deliverance.
This second candle brings more light to darkness, more hope to our waiting. The hope is growing stronger with the light that our waiting will not be in vain. We are waiting for someone to fulfill the prophecies of a peaceful world in which a lion will lie down with a lamb, where a virgin will have a son and call Him Immanuel, a son who will establish a kingdom and uphold justice with righteousness forevermore.
Of course everyone has their own private idea of a savior. Maybe someone on a white horse with shining armor, ready to combat the dragons at the gate. Maybe a warrior with arrows at the ready to conquer the enemies pouring down upon them. Someone who changes the darkness of fear and oppression to the light of gladness, peace, and happiness. The Israelites were expecting a savior who would free them from the oppression of their enemies, who would bring peace to their land once again. Their idea of a savior looked more like the fierce warrior on the white horse.
"As is so often the case, Jesus fulfills these ancient prophecies in a surprising way, and it is through weaving light into the shade of our present world that he evokes wonder by the wisdom of his counsel; shows the power of God in the world's cares eternally just like a parent; and is the source of all well-being for God's people. Jesus lived as wonderful counsellor, mighty God, everlasting father, and prince of peace in the midst of our broken, despairing world, shining in the darkness and bringing hope.
It is this light shining in the darkness for which we wait, and the season of Advent calls us to readjust our eyes in that darkness so that we can see glimmers of the Light of the World, glowing and pointing us forward to that ultimate time in the future when everything will be fulfilled...."
And so we wait. Quietly, in the darkness, staring at the shine and glow of two candles. One reminding us silently of how we are called to wait. The second, that we are waiting for the day of the Lord.
Waiting is not just sitting around, slightly bored, passively waiting for the next thing.
" The Hebrew word that is often translated wait (as in Genesis 49:18, "I wait for your salvation, O Lord") has the additional meaning of "look eagerly" or "lie in wait for" that brings with it that concept of being a "lookout" whose sole task is to gaze into the distance, waiting for a particular person to come, and then, when they do come, to be able to distinguish them from the others who come the same way....Waiting for the future involves a recognition of what the world might be and the resolve to bring our own part of it one step closer....Waiting becomes active: waiting for the future involves transforming the present."Active waiting, then is the proper outlook for Advent. We're actively waiting for the day of the Lord when we reach out to others and bring the light closer to shining throughout the world.
So on this second Sunday in Advent, think of the prophets who were actively waiting for the Savior of the World...for the light to chase away the darkness. And actively wait for the day of the Lord.
All exerpts taken from the book by Paula Gooder, The Meaning Is In The Waiting