THE KING IS COMING, PREPARE YE THE WAY!
The season of Advent, from the Latin “to come to,” commences the liturgical year of the Church, and is celebrated on the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Not only does this time acknowledge the first coming of Christ in His incarnation and condescension as God the Son becoming the Son of Man, but it also points to the glorious return of Jesus in His second coming when He will again come to us, His bride, to redeem us as He has so graciously promised. As I reflect on the themes of Advent, as represented by the four advent candles of hope, peace, love, and joy, I cannot but think of how these beautiful concepts are given practical application in the Great Commission: “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Disciples of Jesus are commanded by our Lord Himself, to make disciples of all nations, to baptize those disciples in the Name of the triune God, and to teach them to observe and obey that which Christ has commanded. This is the work of the Church. The gospel contains in it sinful man’s only hope for salvation and the way to have peace with the Holy God. In the gospel is the sacrificial, unparalleled love of God on display, serving as the blueprint for all to follow. It is in the receiving of the gospel that true and lasting joy is obtained despite earthly circumstances
As we look to the second advent of the risen Christ, the role of Christian education is essential. Timothy tells us that “the church of the living God is the pillar and ground of truth” (I Timothy 3:15b KJV). It is our job as believers to guard that truth, and Christian education is on the front lines of that duty. We are charged to, and indeed must, faithfully pass on the truths that have been delivered to us without compromise, hesitation, or apology. While countless institutions of theological education, in the name of tolerance, liberation, and inclusion, have jettisoned biblical truths and doctrines, I would that Cummins Memorial Theological Seminary be a bastion of truth, that continues to equip ministers of the gospel to fulfill the Great Commission. In this Advent Season, may our hands diligently do the work of making disciples, as our eyes constantly look to our Savior’s return. May we remember that the bookends of the first and second advent of the Christ are connected by the work, our work, of the Great Commission.
May the Lord truly bless and keep you,
The Right Reverend Willie J. Hill, Jr.
The Right Reverend Willie J. Hill Jr.