The Weekly Perspective

by Joe Thacker, Pastor

The emphasis of the First Sunday of Advent is one of watchfulness and God fulfilling His divine purposes, even if it might not be according to our expectations. Matthew’s Gospel took us to the late stages of Jesus’ earthly ministry, which might seem like an odd way to begin Advent, but it helps to remind us of the faithfulness to which we’re called as His servants who do not know when He will return, a helpful perspective to maintain.

This week, for the Second Sunday of Advent, we find ourselves in the third chapter of Matthew’s Gospel where he records the ministry of John the Baptist, who prepares Israel for the coming of the Messiah by preaching a message of repentance. John is clear that religious heritage is not enough nor even to simply profess repentance. Rather, true repentance is seen in the fruit that it bears; in the actions that are taken unto righteousness. According to Isaiah 11, righteousness is central to the Messiah’s ministry. It is a mark of His reign over all the earth, even as He proves to also be the hope of the Gentiles (Is. 11:10; Rom. 15:12).

Some of God’s most challenging and comforting messages came to His people in times of difficulty and distress, so let us heed the Baptist’s cry and pursue lives of repentance and righteousness befitting of those belonging to our Messiah’s kingdom.