A Reading for the Second Sunday of Advent
The Second Sunday of Advent: Jesus fulfills God’s Story
Relight the first Advent candle.
The word “advent” means coming. Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ in his incarnation, and also look ahead to his final advent at the end of time, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and authority and power. By lighting a candle each week of Advent, we remember God’s great promises to Israel and to the world, we recognize our need for God’s mercy and grace, and we prepare to rejoice in the birth of Jesus, our Savior and King, who will come again.
Last week we lit a candle that reminded us how Jesus fulfills Israel’s story. Today we focus on how Jesus fulfills God’s story. From before the foundation of the world, God planned to rescue the world through his Son. Isaiah 59 describes God’s resolution to enter into his own creation to accomplish what no human could do—to establish justice on earth, and to redeem his people from their sins. He did this through the Incarnation of his eternal Son, Jesus Christ, who humbled himself and took on human flesh to be our Immanuel, “God with us.”
Isaiah 59:15-20 says:
The LORD saw it,
and it displeased him that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
19 So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come like a rushing stream,
which the wind of the LORD drives.
20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
Light the second purple candle.
We light the second candle of Advent to remember Jesus is our Immanuel, “God with us,” who reveals to us the Father and accomplishes his purposes in the power of the Holy Spirit.
You are holy, unique, above us, and unlike us in every way.
Yet in your mercy you sent your Son, Jesus, to take on human flesh
and become like us in every way, except for sin.
We praise you for the mystery of the Incarnation.
We praise you that your Son, Jesus, fulfills your story
and accomplishes all your purposes for creation.
May we long for your presence and look with expectation to Christ,
who comes to establish your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.