Luke describes the Birth of Christ in great detail, but one of the synoptic Gospels skips the birth of Christ completely. Mark begins with a prophecy about John the Baptist preparing the way for Christ.

I will send my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way”

a voice of one calling in the desert,

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make straight paths for him.’”

Mark begins much like when we were first brought into the world. Not in the Royal City of David, but in a very desolate place, a desert. What does John do to those who are in the desert. He prepares the way for Christ’s coming by baptizing them! What better way to prepare for the coming of Christ then to forgive those in the desert away from Christ.

Advent means “coming.” One of my favorite advent hymns, “Once He Came in Blessing” (LSB 333)  talks about Christ’s coming.

Once He came in blessing,

All our sins redressing;

Came in likeness lowly,

Son of God most holy;

Bore the cross to save us;

Hope that freedom gave us.

This verse talks about Christ first coming in the flesh at Bethlehem. It talks about how he came as a man to take away all of our sins. He did that by the Cross!

Now He gently leads us;

With Himself He feeds us

Precious food from heaven,

Pledge of peace here given,

Manna that will nourish

Souls that they may flourish.

This second verse talks about how he comes to us now. He comes to us now in the Word and Sacrament. At my church last Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent, We were blessed with the word. We were blessed by hearing the words of absolution pronounced to us. We were blessed by welcoming a new member to our congregation through baptism. Finally, we were blessed by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

Soon will come that hour

When with mighty power

Christ will come in splendor

And will judgment render,

With the faithful sharing

Joy beyond comparing.

This third verse talks about how he will come once again in judgment. On the last day Jesus will return in all his splendor and majesty and judge.

Come, then, O Lord Jesus,

From our sins release us.

Keep our hearts believing,

That we, grace receiving,

Ever may confess You

Till in heaven we bless You.

As we look forward to His final coming, we find our deepest joy and comfort in His present coming with His very body and blood for our forgiveness.

Christ came For You in Bethlehem! Christ comes For You in His Word and Sacraments! And Christ will come again For You to take you to your eternal home with him.

Blessed Advent to you all!

Pax Domini

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