Longing for Home: An Advent Journey, 2016 — Day Five


Psalm 72
Isaiah 4:2-6
Acts 1:12-17

Acts 1:12-17

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus—for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”

Advent is about the coming of God to humankind and there are three Advents that we celebrate during this season. The first is probably the one you count on at this time of the year, when Jesus was born to a dirt-poor couple in a borrowed barn in a back-of-beyond small town. The second ‘coming’ we remember during these days is the one that is yet to be, when Jesus will return as King and the earth will be made new. The third is, I suppose, a bit less dramatic than the other two, but it is the one that we live each and every day. The third coming of God is what you and I experience in the here and now, when the Holy Spirit works in our midst, when the church is being the truest church she can be, when the evidence of the Spirit’s work is seen in our goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, self-control, faithfulness, peace, joy and love. 

Today’s passage is a good reminder of that third coming, I think. This band of believers has just seen their friend, their risen Lord, rise up to heaven. They are gathering to remember, to pray, to stay close. And Peter reminds them that Judas, too, was one of them. Soon this little band will draw lots for someone to take Judas’s place, doing what they can to be ready for whatever comes next. But right now, they’re trying to listen to God, to remember what Jesus taught them, and to take the next step forward in faith. And that is what we all must do, isn’t it? Listen, remember, move. That’s how we celebrate the coming of God to humankind — quietly, carefully, boldly. 

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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  1. “Listen, remember, move . . .” Yes, Diana, it is that third coming that we must strive to live every day faithfully.

  2. Cherry Steinmeier says

    Diana, thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I just read your Advent Journey Day five. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that your third point really resonated with me. Blessings to you. Cherry

  3. Diana, I love the way you’ve unwrapped the three comings. This is so needful:

    “And that is what we all must do, isn’t it? Listen, remember, move. That’s how we celebrate the coming of God to humankind — quietly, carefully, boldly. ”

    Amen! 😊