|Posted on December 18, 2022 at 3:00 PM|
4th Sunday in Advent:The Daily Visitation
Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his
coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reminder: Advent season of preparation. Historically fasting and prayer. It is a reminder to
prepare oneself and the Church for Jesus’ second coming
Today: we begin with an invocation for the Holy Spirit to purify our consciences so as to prepare
The instruction within the collect today is that often it is through the daily visitation—daily
encounters with God that our conscience is purified. What does this mean-‘a daily visitation’ or
encounter. How shall we avail ourselves of this means and through it this end of purification and
1) First let’s be assured that God our Father is available.
The lesson of Christmas and the Epiphany is that the God-head in the Eternal Son
condescended to come to us. He came to fellowship with Sinners and save us. He condescends
still in the Holy Spirit to enliven and empower.
John.14.23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;
and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
We have been and still are His intended home. His mansion if you will as the collect says. So
knowing His intention and His promise to continually visit us, for His Spirit to indwell us we can
be confident that if we will walk with Him in fellowship and obedience then we must encounter
2) Now it may be that we, not being fully mature or yet made perfect, may not realize this
a) A first issue and most likely is in recognition. Analogy: Part of growing up and
indeed parenting is recognizing opportunity and danger. The young child reaches
for the flame, the adult forsees and stops the child admonishing him to prevent
injury whenever possible. So a call to maturity is recognizing the opportunity, the
blessing, afforded to us in Christ. And likewise the dangers that may distract us
or wound us. The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and we have in the
scriptures what we need to recognize and understand.
b) Dangers: The Scriptures admonish us the will of God. We have the 10
commandments and the Law of Christ to keep us from danger and to direct our
energies to actively love God, love our neighbor, and our enemy. To receive His
love and listen to and try not to grieve the Holy Spirit. To forgive, and find
c) Opportunity: The Christmas story is as it says in Isaiah 7 is a sign. It is something
to look for, for Israel. And for us it is important to note that He may present
himself in gentleness and humility. We should look for the unexpected—a word
of encouragement from a stranger, a scripture verse in a text. Sometimes to slow
oneself down and pray even in times of busyness and stress.
d) He comes in power and strength -the lesson of Advent is that Christ will come in
power. He is revealed in power in the resurrection as the epistle says. Now, we
live in a time of transition where the kingdom of heaven is being revealed but is
not fully revealed (inaugurated eschatology-‘now and the not yet’). This is why we
pray and see healing and deliverance more or less in times and seasons, but it is
when he returns that we shall all be healed and delivered in the resurrection. But
knowing He reveals himself in this way we should be bold of faith to encounter
God in vision, dream, prophecy, word of knowledge and wisdom, and His
healing. We do not want to miss the gift of His daily visitation because we set our
eyes, our expectations, to low.
3) So we know He must and will come because he has revealed it as His will in His word.
So again we pray that we might avail ourselves of His daily visitation, that He might do
the work in us of purification and preparation as we look to his coming again. He is
faithful and will do it. Let us pray.