“Sometimes I feel lost,” said the boy.
“Me too,” said the mole.
“But we love you and love brings you home…
I think everyone is just trying to get home.”The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse, Charlie Mackesy
Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent:
Isaiah 40:1-1; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Mark 1:1-82; 2 Peter 3:8-15
A Reading from Isaiah 40:1-11 (Excerpt)
Comfort, Comfort, my people, says your God. Your struggle is ended, your sin is forgiven.
In your wilderness, prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord.
YES, The Lord and King is coming with power.
He rules with a powerful arm. He has set his people free.
He is bringing them back (home) as his reward.
He has won the battle over their enemies.
He takes care of his flock like a shepherd.
He gathers the lambs in his arms.
He carries them close to his heart.
He gently leads those that have little ones.
Going Home is probably the most comforting and freeing, yet often perilous journey we undertake as people. Wherever we may find ourselves, our internal compass, our true course is set for home. If we have strayed, we limp back for pardon from our merciful Father. If we have gotten lost along the way, we are searched for and gathered close to the loving heart of our Shepherd God.
Reflect. Read through Isaiah 40 again. In this reading, the people of Israel have been without a country in Exile and are coming home. Today, we can read these words of comfort for our own spiritual journey home to God’s loving presence. What emotions stir in you when you make the journey home?
Imagine. Now imagine yourself coming home to the loving presence of God. Sit for some minutes with the image of God gathering you close in a gentle embrace. What do you see, feel, smell…
A Reading from 2 Peter 3:8-15 (MSG)
Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.
But when the Day of God’s Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a huge conflagration, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment.
Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.
So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. Interpret our Master’s patient restraint for what it is: salvation.
Reflect. Why does God delay the coming of the Kingdom of Christ? We are often weary in the waiting, and maybe in reality aren’t so eager for the End. Peter promises that the day of salvation will come at the right time. In the in-between uncertainty we are reminded of our humanity: “The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it.” Because we live fragile and temporary days, so too are they precious. Because time might well be gone tomorrow, so too we must make it holy.
And if we live our lives as if today is the day we go home, we won’t really notice the loss of this earthly life. How we live each day in purity and peace and truth really does matter and is our true home, the place where God dwells in us.
Imagine. What does Divine Patience look like? The most impatient and impetuous disciple must have been Peter. Yet he leads us to see the Waiting God is offering salvation to all. Take a few moments to close your eyes and remember how patiently God has led you to belief and obedience.
Pray. Let the Reading from Psalm 85 be your closing prayer. Read it out loud from your Bible. Then put your own feelings and thoughts into a prayer.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.