Entries tagged with “advent”.


In the lead-up to Christmas, we use the O Antiphons as part of our prayer life.  In turn we reflect on Sapientia (Wisdom), Adonai (Lord), Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse), Clavis David (Key of David), Oriens (Morning Star), Rex Gentium (King of the nations), and finally Emmanuel (God with us). The first letters of these words in Latin, when read backwards, form an acrostic: ERO CRAS. Put loosely, this is “Tomorrow I will come.”

Let these words be for us a reminder not only that tomorrow is Christmas, but further that we wait on a Lord who will come again—a reminder that “this Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:13).

Merry Christmas and God bless.


Today is December 22, and if you’re reading this, the world hasn’t ended. So it looks like the Mayan doomsday believers were wrong—just like all the other end-of-the-world predictions thus far. In my column for the November/December issue of The Canadian Lutheran, I take on the connection between doomsday predictions and the season of Advent (which we’re still in for a few more days). A segment follows below:

cls2706But Christians are not the only ones in a season of “waiting” this December. A small number of conspiracy theorists have been predicting December 21st as the end of the world. The idea arises out of some Mayan records which cite that date as the end of an era—the ending of one cycle of creation and the beginning of the next. While Mayan scholars dismiss doomsday interpretations of these records, believers think the Mayans knew something we don’t— that some great catastrophe is coming and that humankind’s time is drawing to an end. Consequently, this has been a year of great darkness for doomsday believers. They have been living under the shadow of death, a shadow growing ever blacker and grimmer as December 21st approaches.

How different from the Christian’s hope! We too dwell under the dark shadow of death, but it is a shadow we know is defeated. We await reunion with our Lord Jesus; doomsday theorists see only the approach of death. At the first Christmas, God Himself entered into our world. In Him was Light, a Light that was the Light of all mankind; and that Light broke into the darkness (John 1:4-5). Yes, on the people dwelling in darkness a great Light dawned—and it forced the shadow of death to retreat (Matthew 4:16).

Check out the full article entitled “Joy comes with the morning” over at CanadianLutheran.ca.


“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away; He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

Mark 13:32-37

It is officially the first day of the new year in the Christian calendar – the first Sunday in Advent. This season, marked by the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, is one of watching, waiting, and preparing. It is a time for reflecting upon the coming of Christ, the anniversary of our God’s coming to be with us. We, like the Hebrew prophets before us, look forward to the entry of the King.

And yet, we are not simply like our Old Testament counterparts watching for the birth of the Messiah. No, we live in a world which has already experienced the incarnation, the death, and the resurrection. We are not waiting simply to celebrate an anniversary. We are waiting for his Return, the Second Coming of Christ.

Enter the reading for today. “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!” But what does it mean to watch for the Lord? What does it mean to sit at the door awaiting the return of the owner of the house?

Certainly it is to be awake and ready. We must keep ourselves aware of the world, aware of ourselves and the state of our souls. Are we falling into sleep spiritually? Are we more concerned with things of this world than of those above? We must not neglect the warnings Jesus here gives. “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” We must be constantly vigilant; this present may well be the world’s last night.

And yet, such preparedness is not all that is involved with watching for our Lord. The Scripture verse tells us that the owner “puts his servants in charge” when he goes away. There are tasks to be completed, services to render. At the Ascension, Christ left his followers the responsibility to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). We must continue to proclaim the light of the Gospel to a dark world, to give God the glory and honour due to his name, and to lead the world in justice and love and peace.

Spend this Advent season with God. Reflect upon his coming as a tiny babe. And awaken in expectation of his second coming.