Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 14:1-23; 2 Peter 3:1-18
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “If Jesus promised to come back, then where is He?” Yeah, we Christians get that a lot. There’s only one answer to that: His Church! Of course, the unbelieving world doesn’t see the guy with sandals, robe and beard and so they laugh. But that’s where Jesus is: His Church. We don’t see Him with our eyes. We know it by faith. And not faith as in, “I just believe it blindly and stupidly because I can’t actually see it,” but faith which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which you trust and believe Christ’s promises.
Advent means “coming.” Part of Advent is that we are preparing to celebrate Jesus’ first coming in the flesh, when He is born at Christmas. We are also anticipating His Second Coming, in glory on the Last Day. But in between those is His coming—His adventing—in His Church. Where does Jesus come to us? In His Word, water, Body and Blood. Jesus promised that in those gifts, He would be present to forgive our sins and to put us and keep us in the faith.
The coming of Christ in His Church ties together His first and Second Coming. In Baptism, Absolution, the preaching of the Gospel, and the Lord’s Supper, Jesus delivers to us and bestows on us the forgiveness and eternal life He accomplished for us by His death on Calvary and His resurrection from the dead. And it is these gifts that give us faith which trusts that this forgiveness is real and that our eternal life is certain. And it is by that faith we look forward to our Lord’s coming again in glory, to throw death, the last enemy, away forever. To raise us from the dead. To give us our life everlasting with Him in the new heavens and new earth.
When someone asks, “Well, where’s Jesus after all these years?” answer them truthfully. He’s in His Church. Water. Word. Body and Blood—just where He promised to be and where He will keep showing up until we see Him again with our eyes on that Last Day. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Let the earth now praise the Lord, Who has truly kept His word And at last to us did send Christ, the sinner’s help and friend. (Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord, LSB 352:1)