Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, 12-28
Hold fast to what is good. (v. 21 NRSV)
Advent is the season of waiting. Waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Waiting for the day of the Lord. God’s people have done a lot of waiting. We’re waiting for the One who will put all wrongs to right so the whole world—every person, every bird, every blade of grass, every thing—may experience nothing but peace: calm, rest, shalom.
We have been waiting ever since Genesis when we plucked fruit from a certain tree in a certain garden, thinking we would be holding fast to what is good when instead we were opening the way to evil. Ever since, we’ve been waiting—waiting on God’s promises to deliver us from evil and for good to be all in all.
In Advent, we’re drawn alongside God’s people of old who were expecting the Messiah, and we’re drawn alongside Paul’s anxiously apocalyptic Thessalonians who were expecting the Messiah to come tomorrow. To those waiting for the Messiah the first time and to those awaiting him again, God’s prophets deliver the same message: the Messiah is coming. When? Only God knows. For now, stay on the edge of your seat and repose on God’s promises. Be faithful and strain ahead for the life to come. How? As Paul proclaims: Stay connected to the household of faith. Do honest work every day. Practice encouragement, patience, joy, prayer, and gratitude. Hold fast to what is good, resisting evil. This is the way of the Messiah’s blessing. —Sue Rozeboom
As you pray, seek to discern what is good as you carry on until the day of the Lord.
About the Author
Dr. Sue Rozeboom is the Associate Professor of Liturgical Theology at Western Theological Seminary, where she and students together delve deeply into topics such as the Trinity and Christian Worship, the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments, historical Christian practices and what we can learn from them for the church today.