Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of posts on Advent, which is my favorite season. However, sometimes I find that my Bible readings, the ones from my trusty Book of Common Prayer, aren’t all peace and light and joy, especially not during the first two weeks of Advent.
They’re more like the Advent Apocalypse.
Did anyone see the movie “2012”? Well, that’s the kind of terror that the beginning of Advent should engender. Yes, the judgement is coming, and baby, it’s coming soon. The sun will be dark and the moon will turn to blood and there will be locusts and famine and wars.
Just so you’ll get a feel for what I’m describing, here are a few gems from the daily readings during second week of Advent:
“Therefore the LORD’s anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.” (Isaiah 5:25)
“See, the Lord commands, and the great house shall be shattered to bits, and the little house to pieces.” (Amos 6:11)
and just in case you think it’s only the Old Testament …
“People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Luke 21:26)
“When they say, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
Whew! Doesn’t that put you in the Christmas spirit?
But it should, because the whole point is that we deserve judgment. God says we’re gonna reap what we sow. Then we cry out for mercy and receive–lo!–a baby. The Son of God, who one day will take our judgement upon Himself on the cross.
I’d say that calls for a rousing rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus.”