This week is the second Sunday of Advent and our Gospel is about John the Baptist and his call to Israel to “repent for the kingdom of God has come near,” as preparation for the coming Messiah. All of our readings touch on this theme of the coming kingdom of God and the world-wide reign of a righteous king. With the hindsight of living in a post -resurrection world, we know that Jesus is the righteous shoot out of the stump of Jesse. The Kingdom of God has begun and is also still in progress. We haven’t seen the complete fulfillment of the abiding peace, justice and mercy of the reign of King, but in Advent we long for that time when Jesus returns in all his glory and the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.