Today's Reading: Romans 13:8-14
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:14)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Advent teaches us to be ready for the coming of our Lord. He came in the flesh at His incarnation and birth. He comes to us in the Word and Sacraments. He will come again in glory on the Last Day. Advent is about getting us ready for His arrival. And how do we do that? By living in our baptism! St. Paul says to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” That's baptismal language. Those are words that remind us that we who are baptized have been “clothed with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27).
Then there are these words: “make no provision for the flesh.” Uh-oh. We often make provision for our flesh, our Old Adam, our sinful nature. The sinful nature wants to do whatever it wants, when it wants. Tell your parents off. Ignore your teachers. Gossip about your friends. Go too far on your date. Treat that weird kid like dirt. Going places online you don't belong. The flesh does whatever it wants. Stop! Repent! Run from the sin that makes you love the darkness more than the light. Flee to Christ whose Advent rescues you from sin and death.
Christ's first coming was in the flesh. He took on human flesh, because our flesh has been corrupted by sin. The pure and perfect and spotless flesh of Christ was given unto death for your sins on Calvary. Your flesh, stained and ruined with sin, has been washed by water, Word and Spirit at the font. You have been given to eat the holy flesh of Christ. By those gifts, your sinful flesh is put to death and the New Man arises, you put on Christ and live in the light. Putting on Christ, making no provision for the sinful flesh―these are the works of Advent. And they are Christ's work in you by the gifts He gives at every advent, ever coming to you by Word and Sacraments. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Sin's debt, that fearful burden, Cannot His love erase; Your guilt the Lord will pardon And cover by His grace. He comes, for you procuring The peace of sin forgiv'n, His children thus securing Eternal life in heav'n. (LSB 334:6)
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