Wednesday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Colossians 1:15-29 (NKJV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
St. Paul identifies who it is that Advent prepares us for. It is the One we know by faith, Jesus, Savior of mankind. It is Christ, the anointed One, who is head of the Church. As we confess, He is true God, begotten of the Father, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary. He has redeemed us from sin, death, and the devil, not with silver or gold, but with His holy, precious blood, His innocent suffering and death!
Apparently some in Colosse were not convinced that salvation was accomplished by Christ’s blood. Paul warns the Church against any new philosophy of salvation contrary to what he revealed to them from God’s Word.
This same warning applies to the Church today with any man-made philosophy. God calls us to live in repentance daily. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, trusting that “it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” May you be strengthened to continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that leads to repentance.
We pray: Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power, O Lord, and come, that by Thy protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Thy mighty deliverance; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.