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Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Arrival

Intently looking at the arrival flights board at LAX is something I will always remember as a child. With all the ancestors living across the water, it was always a special time for us. The great anticipation would reach its peak as we saw them come through the hallway at Tom Bradley International. Big hugs, kisses, smiles and excitement would surround all of us as great joy filled the air.

However, as we rewind a few days before their arrival, there was great preparation as well. We vacuumed, dusted, washed, cleaned, and wiped as we prepared for our extended family. Our parents lead the charge as they frantically commanded all of us to assist in providing a clean home for our arriving guests.

I know this story resonates with all of you, but this also reminds me of the greatest anticipation of the Advent season. From the Latin word, "Adventus", [meaning "arrival", "coming"] we begin the church with great preparation and joyful anticipation in our Savior Jesus Christ.

Harkening back to St. John the Baptist as he came to preach in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" [Mt3:2]. As the coming of Christ was near, St John called all people to turn and repent of their sins. Likewise, as we dwell upon the Advent of our King, we ask the question, "Why did Jesus come for me?" As we look at the mirror of the law, we are well aware of our sinful condition and the need to be set free. Captive by sin and death due to the fall in the Garden [Gen3, Is53], we confess our sins as we prepare with hearts of repentance.

A humbling season, as we are constantly reminded of why we need the Incarnate Son Jesus Christ. For without Him, we would be "dead in our transgressions", and "children of wrath"[Eph2]. Yet by God's merciful hand, the Lord promised "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel"[Gen3:15],[also Is53:6,Rm3:23;5:12]. By His grace, the Lord gives the first Gospel as Christ would come to crush the head of Satan, wash away sins and give life to the world.

And thus, in joyful anticipation, we remember the greatest gift that was sent for us. The perfect gift in Jesus Christ . This babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, who "had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire Him" [Is53:2], would be the Savior of the World. Jesus brings His eternal light, His wondrous, and gracious work of reconciliation as He is "the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"[Jn1:29]. And the joyous celebration would follow as the angel and the heavenly hosts rejoiced, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"[Lk2:14], we too celebrate the coming of the good news of great joy!

Where would be without the free gift given in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Thanks be to God for His gracious and merciful hand that has set us free in Christ Jesus!

LSB Hymn 331 "The Advent of our King"

[First Stanza]
The Advent of our King
Our prayers must now employ
And we must hymns of welcome sing
In strains of Holy joy

[Second Stanza]
The everlasting Son
Incarnate deigns to be
Himself a servant's form puts on
To set His servants free.

Have blessed December!

✝️ Pastor Jeong

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