For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
This time of year, this liturgical season, is one of waiting. But what are we waiting for? This season is also about remembering. In our Disciples of Christ congregation, we practice weekly the "remembrance" of the last supper as our communion. We remember in a way that takes us to that upper room, that makes us present to that moment. Now, we know who's coming, but are we ready to go to that manger? Be present to that moment? What are we waiting for?
Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the grace of God, is already present in our lives. Redeeming us moment by moment, training us while we wait. While we wait for what? What exactly is the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of Jesus Christ? Manifestation is defined as "the act of showing, demonstrating, or proving; or something that reveals a sign or indication." We know the blessed hope we carry in our hearts, that hope we received when we accepted Jesus into our hearts, that hope that carries us through life's difficult moments. We don't have to wait for that!
But what about the act of showing, demonstrating, or proving the glory of Jesus Christ? That speaks of our daily lives. Are we going about our lives showing, demonstrating, and proving the glory of Jesus Christ? What are we waiting for? We are at the beginning of our liturgical year. Perhaps we should consider making that our "new year's resolution" -- that we live our lives in a way that does show, demonstrate, and prove the glory of Jesus Christ! Live lives reflecting the mercy, compassion, and forgiveness bought for all of humanity.
As we look to the birth, let us look beyond to the life, death, and resurrection.