Advent: Faithful in Our Waiting

I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods.

I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;

For You have magnified Your according to all Your name.

On the day I called, You answered me;

You made me bold with strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth will give thanks to the Lord, when they have heard the words of Your mouth.

For great is the glory of the Lord, for though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.  ~Psalm 138

Waiting.  So many I spoke with yesterday are waiting for something seemingly impossible.  A new job, a restored marriage, a healed heart.  I, too, am waiting.  Waiting for God to do what I know only He can do.

I confess I get discouraged in the waiting.  Somehow God always seems so much more powerful if He acts immediately…but He rarely does.  He requires that we trust His power even when it is still.

If Advent teaches us anything, it is that in our waiting God remains faithful.  Faithful to us.  Faithful to His plans and purposes.  Faithful to working together His will and His way into a masterpiece of something beautiful, good, and true.

Are you waiting on God today?  Rest in His faithfulness.  He does not forsake us or His work.  Keep believing God for big, impossible things.  Let the story of Advent–its waiting and accomplishment–give you hope.

Advent: O Come, Divine Messiah”

“O Come, Divine Messiah”

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Dear Savior haste;
Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

O Christ, whom nations sigh for,
Whom priest and prophet long foretold,
Come break the captive fetters;
Redeem the long-lost fold.

Dear Savior haste;
Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

You come in peace and meekness,
And lowly will your cradle be;
All clothed in human weakness
Shall we your Godhead see.

Dear Savior haste;
Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.

O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Simon J. Pellegrin (1663-1745)

Liberation.  It’s for what Christ came.  Thank Him for it.  Continue to trust Him for it.  Rob Lacey, in his book The Word on the Street, paraphrases key points of the Bible with modern language as to increase understanding of the redemption message woven throughout every page of the Scriptures.  (If you haven’t read his book, I encourage you to get it!)  I’ve been enjoying his writing, and have found the traditional Advent readings to be a helpful way for me to appreciate all that Christ has done for me.  Reflect on Lacey’s paraphrase of Isaiah 61.

The Spirit of God is coursing through every part of me.  He’s commissioned me to announce the breaking news–fantastic news for the poor!  He’s sent me to mend broken hearts, to liberate those slammed up in dark prisons, to announce the news that this is the era of God going gentle on His people.  It’s payback time for our enemies!  My manifesto is to get alongside the grieving–to swap their burnt-out hopes for beautiful crowns, to exchange their regrests for delight, to trade in their despair for celebration songs.  They’ll be like towering sculptures–chiselled out by God to be a constant reminder of His brilliance.”  (Rob Lacey, 2003)

Jesus enters our places of bondage to free us.  He gets right “alongside the grieving.”  He sets us free.  Liberates us!  What hope!  What comfort! May both be yours today.

Do you have a favorite scripture that speaks of God’s liberation?