First Thursday of Advent – Drawing Close to Jesus through remembering, longing and preparing – Jeff Borden


This morning’s post for the series Jesus is Near How do We Draw Close? comes from Jeff Borden an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church of North America. He hasbeen blogging and sharing my meditations since November of 2002 at www.icrucified.com/icruciblog. The name “icrucified” is derived from Galatians 2:20 and helps me to remember that “it is no longer I that live, but it is Christ who lives within me.”he and his wife make their home in the great Pacific Northwest having recently moved from Western, NY and hail from Olympia, WA.

Advent: Drawing closer to Jesus through remembering, longing, and preparing… with hope “looking forward.”

Remembering, longing, and pondering from beginning to end. God created the heavens and the earth and it was good. And God created human beings, man and woman, then He blessed them and said:

“Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground…” Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:27-31)

It was good. It was right. It was perfect… God and man walking together in perfect unity, and it was very good. The tragedy is that we (mankind) weren’t satisfied with God’s very good. In our effort to improve His Creation (Genesis 3) we created a “fail” of epic proportion. While our nature and soul have been created with Divine and Eternal DNA (Genesis 1:27 and Ecclesiastes 3:11), we have been doomed to disease, deterioration, destruction, and death because of our disobedience and rebellion against God, our Creator-Sustainer. We have struggled…groaning laboriously for the day of reconciliation since we became outcasts and enemies of God. And so, we long for Eden…we long for true reconciliation; we long for the ultimate and eternal City of God, the New Jerusalem where God will live with and alongside man as Friend, Father, Savior, King, Creator, and Sustainer (Revelation 21:1-8). This is the hope looking forward.

Prepare

“It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God, Advent after Advent, that we come to realize that its coming depends on us. What we do will either hasten or slow, sharpen or dim our own commitment to do our part to bring it.” Joan Chittister; The Liturgical Year.

Malachi 3:1-4 “Prepare the way… He comes to purify and refine…so they (we) may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.”

I consider how faithful I am to prepare the way for my Lord Jesus. I think, too often, we (generally) are lax, complacent, and downright lazy in our preparations. Where do we prepare…at some distant location in the future? When do we prepare; hastily, at the last minute…out of desperation? Israel had (at the time of the prophet Malachi) 400 plus years to prepare…and they still weren’t ready. Israel (at the time of John the Baptist) had several years…maybe even a decade or so; and they still weren’t ready. Our nature indicates that our own preparation leaves much to be desired.

I think “prepare the way” is repentance and with repentance we are open to receive the Spirit of the Lord to purify and cleanse us so we might receive His holy things. He is the giver of Light and our Guide in the dark. It is our responsibility to hasten His coming in our own lives through preparation… How do I prepare? I prepare with and through an attitude of repentance with desire to walk upright in purity and righteousness. I want the sacrifice of my life to be a pleasing aroma in the nostrils of my God. Prepare. This word implies it is my responsibility to make the way ready for my King…He will cleanse, He will guide, He will purify… I am given the task to prepare.

Luke 1:67-79 “Prepare the way for the Lord… He comes to give light…He comes to guide us…”

Maranatha – “Come, Lord Jesus, Come.”

“Cleans us, O Lord, from our secret faults and mercifully absolve us from our presumptuous sins, that we may receive thy holy things with a pure mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” –The Leonine Sacramentary

6 Responses

  1. […] First Thursday of Advent – Drawing Close to Jesus through remembering, longing and preparing &… (godspace.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. […] Thursday: Jeff Borden – Preparing for Jesus through Remembering, Longing and Preparing […]

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  6. […] Thursday: Jeff Borden – Preparing for Jesus through Remembering, Longing and Preparing […]

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