Advent with the Church Fathers

An advent reading with Maximus of Turin born in 380 A.D.
An advent reading with Maximus of Turin born in 380 A.D.

For 2000 years the Church has waited expectantly for the coming of Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah, the Prince of Peace. This singular hope has sustained the Church’s witness and nurtured its life since Jesus was first raised from the dead. Since that glorious event, Christians of every generation have sought to remind themselves, and the world, of the hope of his immanent return.

These reminders have often taken the form of sermons and hymns, written mostly by great men (and women!) of the Church, commonly and affectionately known as the Church Fathers. To thicken the texture of your Advent season, The Theologian’s Library would like to share brief excerpts of some of these marvelous sermons with you. We will post a new sermon excerpt daily through Advent so you may add it to your devotional reading. We hope your theological imagination will be quickened and your soul richly blessed by the timely, wise, and enduring words of these heroes of the faith.

Maximus of Turin, Homily 60, 3-4

     Thus, dear brothers, may we who await the birth of the Lord cleanse ourselves of all the remnants of sin! Let us fill his treasuries with many gifts, so that upon the arrival of that holy day we may welcome the strangers, support the widows, and clothe the poor!

“Indeed, what would happen if, in the house of the servants under the same master, one were to proudly don silk garments while another was covered with rags; if one were stuffed with food while another suffered hunger and cold; if one were tormented by indigestion from yesterday’s gormandizing while another could hardly stave off yesterday’s hunger? Or what should the purpose of our prayers be?

May we who are not generous toward our brothers ask to be liberated from the enemy. Let us imitate our Lord! Indeed, if he desires that the poor partake of heavenly grace with us, why should they not partake of earthly goods with us? May those who are our brothers in the sacraments lack no earthly sustenance, even if only so they may give testimony before God on our behalf: may we sustain them and may they give thanks to him. The more a poor man blesses the Lord, the more it will help the one who gives him cause to bless the Lord.”

Blessings this Advent as we prepare for the birth of our Lord!

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Author: Mark Wampler

Books, Jesus, and family. With coffee and rain. I've got two little boys, Jeremiah and Isaac and a ridiculously smart and good-looking wife named Rebekah. I'm an InterVarsity campus pastor and write at Theologianslibrary.com which you should contribute to. Shoot me a message. :)

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