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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent, Day 10

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JOURNEY to the MANGER: Advent 2010
Luke 21:29-38
Scott M. Gibson

The Importance of Leaves
When fruit trees grow leaves in the spring, one anticipates the final product–fruit. Jesus uses the simple fig tree to sketch out for his listeners his second coming and the coming of his Kingdom.

The leaves of the tree signify the promise of things to come, and Jesus can be counted on to fulfill his promises, just like the much-expected fruit. He will come. He will return again as the magnificent, glorious Son of Man.

But we can be distracted from eagerly watching–living–for him. Our focus easily shifts. We may become discouraged as we wait for him. We may even want to give up. But in spite of the temptations we face: excess or distress, as noted in this text, we know that Christ is coming again to rule in power and might. He warns his ancient and present-day disciples, “Pray that you may be able to... stand before the Son of Man.”

Sometimes we don’t connect the importance of the fruit tree’s leaves with the promise of autumn bounty. But that’s exactly what Jesus wants us to do, to see in the common leaf the assurance of his coming and kingly rule.

The promise of leaves is the promise of Jesus’ second coming.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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