The Prayers of the Day for Advent remind me of Christmas cookies. All of the cookies involved a good deal of stirring before the dough was put in the oven. Making Christmas cookies required some arm strength. Making our salvation included some power also, on Christ’s part.
“Stir up Your power, O Lord and come,” begins the prayer for the first Sunday in Advent. That certainly fits in with the text from Isaiah, 64:1, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down.” And, Psalm 98:1, “His hand and his holy arm have won him victory.”
But how does he come? In the first gospel lesson (Mark 11:1-10) our all – powerful God comes riding on a donkey. We know what happened to him by the end of the week, crucified, dead and buried.
The alternative Gospel lesson (Mark 13:24-37) God does come with power and glory. His angels will gather his chosen people from the four corners of the earth and the ends of heaven.
When will this happen? Nobody knows, not even the angels nor Jesus Himself, so Jesus and the angels must be on their toes at all times, and so must we. Thus we pray
“Stir up your power, O Lord, and come, that by your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”