Advent Devotion

Startled at the solemn warning,
Let the earthbound soul arise;
Christ, its sun, all slot dispelling,
Shine upon the morning skies.
(LSB 345, st. 2)
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For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3)

He Is The Vision

Habakkuk watched in horror as fellow Jews were taken captive by Babylon. “Why are you silent,” Habakkuk cries to our Lord, “when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?” Do we not pray the same thing? “Why are you silent when the despair of loneliness swallows me up in my dorm room?” Or, “when the stresses from class and work swallows me up in another marital spat?” The Babylonians are not at our door, but the devil is relentless, the world waits in the shadows, and our flesh plots against us. Why does the Lord allow this wickedness to swallow us up in guilt and despair when He has used His church to choose us as seminarians, vicars, church workers, or professors?
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Our Lord doesn’t remain silent. He speaks to Habakkuk and us of this future Vision. Don’t let the translations fool you—this Vision is not a “what” but a “who;” not an “it” but the “He.” It is Christ who will witness to the end, who is the Truth who does not lie. Yet, what good does a future vision do for us now?
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In this advent of suffering, the Lord points to the Vision to strengthen us. We suffer and ponder His delay; but our Lord tells us to wait and gives us strength in this Vision to endure. To endure until the trumpets blast that solemn warning, waking the dead as Christ appears like the sun, shining upon the skies to all below, coming to take us home. Wait, endure, pray; He will come at exactly the appointed time.
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Let us pray: Heavenly Father, strengthen us by Your Word to endure until the Vision comes at the appointed end time of this advent; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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(Written by Michael McGinley, Sem IV)