Coming to Cleanse Our Sin
Rev. David Schmidt
December 1, 2021
As we enter the season of Advent, we come to a new year in the church calendar. Blue marks the season and symbolizes anticipation and hope. The word “Advent” means “coming,” and in the season of Advent, we anticipate Jesus’ coming. Naturally, before Christmas, one might assume we are looking forward to the birth of our Savior at Christmas. That’s not wrong. Certainly, we are looking forward to that celebration of our Lord’s coming in history. But that’s not the only coming that we anticipate during the season of Advent. We are also looking forward to Christ’s second coming.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he promised that after his ascension into heaven there would come a day when he would return. His second coming will not be the quiet, almost unnoticed entry into the world like when he came as a baby born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, to be greeted only by a handful of shepherds. His second coming will be unmistakable. Jesus says in Matthew 24:27 “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
As God’s people, we long for Jesus’ return, because when he comes he will rid the world of the presence of sin. In the past, he came to do something about the penalty for our sins. He was punished for our sins so that we would not be condemned. Yet, the power of sin remains in our lives. So not only did Jesus come in history to pay the penalty of our sin, he also comes in mystery today. In word and sacrament, he continues to come to us to forgive our sins so that we are ready for his return. We continue to struggle with sin today, but when Christ returns, the very presence of sin will be cast out.
The Advent season taps into that longing we have for a world without sin. As we wait, we look to the one who came into this world to accomplish our salvation through the cross and we say, “Come Lord Jesus, come!”