But maybe a more important question to ask during this time of Advent preparation is how are you imitating Christ in your life? Do others see in you ‘work that comes from faith, effort that comes from love, and perseverance that comes from hope in Christ?’ Paul connected the hallmarks of the Christian life – faith, hope and love – with actions and efforts that showed others that those gifts were indeed theirs through the Spirit. But we tend to recoil at the idea that people will be watching us and expecting us to be models of Christ-like action. But Christ’s commandment is clear: Let your light shine before others (Matthew 5:16). The light that we reflect is Christ’s light and it is ours through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So during this Advent season, let part of your preparation be observing and practicing the gifts God shares with us through Christ. In observing the stories of Christ’s encounters with others, imitate his radical welcome. As Christ disturbed the powers of the world that enslaved and dismissed people, imitate the justice he enacted. In observing the love of God for the world, imitate Christ’s vision of the beloved community. Relying on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, let us be imitators of the one who brings joy, peace and wholeness during this Advent season.
A Prayer for the Second Day of Advent Gracious God, we are grateful for your gift of those who have modeled Christ-like love and service in our lives. Through the gift of your spirit, may our own lives of faith, hope and love point to Christ who comes to bring the peace and wholeness to the world. Amen
Ann Thomas Knox Director, Instructional Resource Center, Library Richmond, VA