December 9, 2010, Second Thursday of Advent
Scripture: Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
We live in a dark world. It’s not difficult to walk around and see a world, and a culture, that is becoming more obsessed with itself, and even more secular. We are a culture that values commercialization, and promotes success by what is popular or most attractive. We are a world that is filled with violence, poverty, and hunger.
There is something about this season of Advent that brings a new focus on these issues. Advent, the season of hope, calls us to look forward to that great day when Christ Jesus comes in final victory. We look forward to that day because the King will return, and the world will be restored to creation’s original purpose.
But, that’s the rub of Advent and the rub from this passage in Titus. We live in the tension of waiting for that great day, and living in the realities of today. So, what are we to do? Should we ignore the problems and wait for Christ’s return for them to be addressed? Or should we try to do something about it?
The Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse to the answer. He says we are to live in this world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God. This idea that everything we do should be out of response to the grace that God has bestowed upon us, and live in this world with grace and love. He also says that as we have been cleansed and made new, that same grace that gave us new life calls us to go out into the world and do good deeds. It calls us to walk along side the poor, the hurting, the hungry, and neglected and serve them as Christ would serve them. It calls us to be a reflection of Christ to everyone we meet, and to every situation that we may encounter.
How might God be calling you to live in wisdom, righteousness, and devotion this season? Where might God be calling you to be totally committed to doing good deeds this season?
Lord, We live in a world that is filled with things that we know causes you discomfort. You do not like to see your people hurting. In this season of Advent, we focus on hope and being devoted to you. Bring forth your purpose for us in living in this world, so that we may live in devotion and dedication to you. Amen