Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: "The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you - - may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up." 2 Chronicles 36:23
Thus ends the Babylonian exile and begins the return of the Jews to their promised land. These are the last words in the Hebrew scripture, according to the rabbinic ordering of the biblical books.
The Jews ended their period of exile, a period of preparation to receive God again and go forth and do His work. For Christians, Advent is a period of preparation to receive Christ again, so that we may go forth in power to do the work that He has called us to do.
As Episcopalians, we have lived through the destruction of our city, and wept as the walls were torn down. Today brings us to the threshold of the Advent season. We also stand at the threshold of Advent for Anglicans in the United States with the announcement this week of the Network of Confessing Anglican Dioceses and Congregations.
I pray for each of us the keeping of a holy Advent; that God may help us prepare again to receive Christ His Son, so that the Lord our God may be with us, and that we, too, may go up!
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