The word of God: Meditation for The 2 Sunday in Advent
The Word of God, which is the embodiment of Divine communication, is indispensable in our preparation for the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself is the Word of God, which was in the beginning and, in His first Advent, became man (Jn 1:1). He is thus the Incarnate Word of God, which in turn is translated to the Written Word of God – the Bible. In it, we find the fullness of God and direction for life.
The Bible reveals God, Christ, man, the past and the future, but above all, it conveys the very life and Spirit of God. The Collect for the day (Advent 2) highlights the source, purpose, usage and benefit of the Bible:
• It is the “Blessed Lord who caused the Bible to be written”.
• The Bible is written for our learning.
• It is not enough to have the letters of the word of God written in the Bible, the lessons are also to be written in our hearts.
• Our minds need to be prepared to receive the Word of God.
• For efficient utilisation and appropriation of the word of God in the Holy Scriptures, we should hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them.
• The hope of everlasting life is embraced and upheld by means of God’s Holy Word.
The Bible is supreme and sufficient for the Christian life and salvation. The 6th of the 39 Articles of Religion (upheld by the Anglican Christians), for instance, declares that: “Holy Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary for salvation.”
The OT (Isa. 11:1-10) is a messianic prophecy, which promised that a shoot would come from the stump of Jesse, and a branch would blossom from its roots. This messianic reign would bring about a transformation from a violent to a non-violent world due to the universal acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty. Where God is the king, and His word obeyed, there is His kingdom. The Word of God transforms the society.
There are 2 alternative Epistles. In the 1st, (Rom. 15:4-13), Paul used the occasion of justifying his use of Scriptural reference (Ps. 69:9) in the preceding verse to assert the value of the written Word of God in its inspiration towards Christian living. The word of God serves the purpose of providing instruction such that, as we patiently endure in complying with it, we will be encouraged to hold fast our hope in Christ.
The alternative Epistle (2Tim. 3:14-4:5) is also on Paul’s teaching concerning the value of the written Word of God, this time as given in the course of his admonition to the young Pastor Timothy. Timothy needed to adhere steadfastly to the word of God in which he was brought up from childhood, since the sacred scriptures are meant to guide men to experience the salvation in Christ. Besides, every single scripture owes its origin to the creative breath of God, and therefore has its value for moral education of the man of God and his thorough equipment for every kind of good work. Consequently, Timothy is charged to preach the word of God undiluted at all times, particularly in view of the impending heresies and the day of reckoning and judgement of God.
In the Gospel (John 5:36b-end), Jesus draws attention to the witness of the scriptures (Old Testament) to him. He however, pointed out that though the Jews searched the very scriptures, they could not find Him therein. They were not open or sincere, or submissive to the guidance of God to glorify His name.
The society and the church have generally disregarded the word of God and are in for it. It is high time we went back to the Word of God.
Ven. Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba
Is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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