11Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.Romans 13:11-14
This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the Latin word for “coming,” and during this ancient season of the church year, we await the birth (the coming) of our Savior Jesus at Christmas, as well as his second coming at the end of the world.
This Advent, what does it mean to you that “salvation is near” (verse 11)?
Paul calls the Roman Christians to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Verse 12). This is an instruction as to how we are to live as Christians in these last days, awaiting the coming of our King Jesus.
How could you cast off darkness and put on light this Advent season? What good and Godly causes could you help? Where is the true light found? How can you intentionally live in the light” during this season?
The flesh calls us to consume, to gratify ourselves, to do what feels good and makes us happy. The Spirit calls us to light and life, to generosity, peace, love, and faithfulness.
How is the life of a Christian (those of us who have “put on Christ”) drastically different from those who live to satisfy the desires of the flesh? How is this difference exemplified or underscored during the Holiday Season? How is this difference muted at this time of year?
The Holiday season at the end of the calendar year seems to bring out both the best and the worst in all people. Consumerism, individualism, and selfishness seems to abound more than ever. And yet, at the same time, giving, generosity, thankfulness, and love circulate in both secular and sacred culture. May we, as God’s people, continue to strive, this Advent and always, to live as people of the light. May we continually put on Christ, who is our light and life. May our lives reflect his love and grace, as we attend extra worship services, say additional prayers, and live more generously than ever before during this time of preparation for the birth of our King Jesus.
Coming King Jesus, turn our hearts toward you as we await the day of our coming salvation, knowing and trusting that you have clothed us with yourself, so that we may shine your light into this darkened world. Amen.