Advent Devotional | December 17, 2020
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! Isaiah 9:7-9
“It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.” – Colin Powell, Retired 4-star General & former Secretary of State
From the time of Isaiah to the birth of Jesus, roughly 700 years passed! The United States of America is merely 244 years old. The government that we live under in our land may feel as if it has been around “forever,” but compared to how long the world had to wait for Jesus, it is a drop in the bucket. Now, reread the passage above. They are encouraging words indeed for a broken people who faced a horrific exile. Israel was torn from the promised land at the hands of ruthless nations. These words from Isaiah pointed toward the advent of Jesus.
“Now is not forever.” This is easy to say and hard to feel. I’ve been through many painful moments in my own life, but none could compare with what Israel had endured. During those intense moments, I go back to this phrase. Sometimes it is challenging to go to sleep at night because of circumstances in life. But I know that, as God’s Word says, “His mercies are new every morning.” Do you remember what it was like as a child on Christmas morning? For most, you simply couldn’t wait. Your trouble sleeping at night was due to hopeful anticipation, not life’s problems. What if we lived with this same childlike expectancy for Jesus’ second coming?
That is the hope embedded in Advent. It’s so powerful that it propelled the people of Israel over hundreds of years just as it calls us forward today. We do not know when Christ will return, just as they didn’t know when the Messiah would first come. What we do know is that it is inevitable! Advent reminds us of this truth. “The Lord of Heaven’s armies will make this happen!” No matter how good or bad today is for you, keep moving forward, leaning into the promises of God the same way a child would anticipate Christmas morning.
Pastor Dave Mergens