I light that second candle, and he clears his throat to read, about the theme assigned to that candle: Preparation. He begins with a preface, simply this: “He prepared, for us!”
He speaks of the Second Advent.
And he reads:
1 Corinthians 2:9, referring to Isaiah 64:4,
and Matthew 25:34.
This comes right on the heels of our listening intently, torsos slanted forward, one hand cupped close around one ear, two bodies stretching, reaching to catch muted words surrounded by an old tape’s squeaking and echoes and blur.
I had unearthed some old A. W. Tozer sermon recordings. This one was about Christ’s second coming. And His own preparation: “I go to prepare a place for you…”
Tozer spoke of wedding preparations: of a bride so distracted by working out details, getting everything just so, that she finds herself standing in the church with everything so well planned and worked out and prepared for — except one thing. She’d left out… the bridegroom!
He was talking of speculative eschatology. But what he said applies at least as well to our Christmases.
Are we/am I focusing on Him in His coming, or something else? Maybe even just caught up doing details for their own sake?
He prepared for us. Not just for an event. Not only as in the scriptures above, read over our candles, but in a multitude of ways. Not only from the eras of those prophecies, but from the beginning of time.
I know. I took the time to look. And I know I only came up with a tiny part:
“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also” (Jhn 14:2-3).
“Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; …all things [are] ready. Come to the wedding”‘”(Mt 22:4).
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Mt 25:34)
“My eyes have seen your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples” (Lk 2:31).
“…that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory” (Rom 9:23)
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” (1 Cr 2:9).
“Now He who has prepared us for this very thing [is] God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Cr 5:5).
“God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hbr 11:16).
He has prepared for us.
We/I need to be prepared for Him — first of all in focus:
Not lost in frills and details and ever-increasing add-ons. Looking intently for the coming King, the Incarnated, Resurrected and Glorified, coming for His (waiting? ready?) bride — whose gaze, heart, and mind are directed, leaning and straining forward, toward… Him!
Future posts: Mistakes in His planning? Like…
No place prepared for the Christ child?
Difficulties in two genealogies that “contradict”?