Mid-week Advent I
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”
On Sunday, we marveled at the humble coming of Jesus in the flesh and into Jerusalem to die for the world. With an eye toward celebrating that first coming, that first appearing of Jesus in the flesh to man—to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem—we always do so with an eye to His coming again in the clouds with judgment—to the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” For, as we confess, this same Jesus, “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary...shall come [again] to judge the quick and the dead.”
On that great and dreadful day, we shall see Him as He is. “He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age” (Athanasian Creed)...”very God of very God,” (Nicene Creed) and true Man. And on the day of Resurrection, we shall be as He is: true Man—for on that day, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (cf. Revelation 7:17), this corruption will put on incorruption, this mortality immortality (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:53-54), and we will be whole; no more Old Adam, no more sin, no more death—in a word, perfect!
But you get that way through no work of your own. In this corruption and mortality, you are powerless and weak to effect such perfection in yourself. No, the Lord makes you...