2nd Sunday of Advent – December 6, 2020

Adv2B20. Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11. “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” Because the Hebrews had in effect disowned their God by their acts of disobedience to God, God allowed the Babylonians to ravage and enslave Jerusalem and Judah (what remained of Israel). The Hebrews were punished “double for their sins.” However, God promises restoration after the captivity. “Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” “Jerusalem, herald of good news” will proclaim, “Here is your God!” “Here is his reward with him.” “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs.” God restores Jerusalem. This scripture points us to our restoration and redemption from sin with the arrival of our savior, the baby Jesus. Psalm 85 says that God “proclaims peace to his people.” “The Lord himself will give his benefits.”
Mark 1:1-8. The prophecy announces the coming of a messenger from God to proclaim the coming of the Lord. He is John the Baptist who proclaims “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Baptism is at once the purification from sin so to be enabled or readied to develop and grow as a holy person, reborn in Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 3:8-14. Once again the scriptures warn us to be ready to be judged by the Lord at any moment. However, this time Peter warns of Jesus’ second Coming when “the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements (all physical things) will be dissolved by fire.” Nevertheless “according to his (Jesus’) promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwell.” To ready ourselves for that end time that waits for us Peter encourages us to think about “what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion.”