Monthly Archives: December 2014

Our Christmas At Last

After at last
What seemed to be,
Hundreds of years
Our waiting ends.

Then silence speaks
And humbled hearts
At last receive
Our lasting peace.

The prophecies
At last fulfilled.
Souls can rest
Our struggles cease.

A timely gift,
At last we meet
Our earthly King.

He comes at last
No greater joy,
Eternal hope
Our God with us!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift…2Corinthians 9:15

Amen and Merry Christmas!

A Heavenly Peace

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;  for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  ~Psalm 4:8

Even though David was a man after God’s heart, his heart still knew the anguish of betrayal by his own son.  His soul longed for peace.  Our souls long for peace.  Psalm 4 describes a safety in being so silently present before God that our souls are revived and our hearts are again aligned with God’s heart. 

Advent invites us to experience a silent night long ago when our Savior was born and laid down in unhurried heavenly peace.  Dallas Willard taught that Jesus was busy as he ministered to others but never hurried.  In these busy days before Christmas, take an unhurried moment and consider again the familiar words of the first stanza of the famous hymn, Silent Night by Franz Gruber:

Silent night!

Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and Child,

Holy Infant, so tender and mild-

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Then as you and I sing these words, may our souls be revived by the possibility of a heavenly peace and may our unhurried hearts cry out:  “O come Lord Jesus come.”

Restored Relationship

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!  ~Psalm 80:3,7,19

In Psalm 80, God’s first born, the nation of Israel, is in need of restoration or a “turning again” in their relationship with God.  Ultimately, God is waiting for them and they are waiting for God.  Perhaps, Advent is mostly about restored relationship.  After all, God’s first born Son came to earth to relate to us on a human level.  As a result you and I can receive the precious gift of salvation from the Father whose loving face shines upon us in the darkest hours of all our waitings.  

As Israel waited, they cried out to God for restoration, for light, for salvation.  While Mary waited, she praised God with these magnificent words:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. 

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 

And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 

He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

~Luke 1:46-56

May all the shining lights of Christmas be a reminder to rejoice in the blessing of our restored relationship with God our Savior.

O Lord my God; light up my eyes!

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,

lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him, lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

~Psalm 13 (ESV)

Like Advent, despair forces us to wait, to ask “how long?” and to wonder when will hope come again.  Martin Luther once said, “hope despairs and yet despair hopes.”  What a precious gift the Spirit gives when hope forms in our hearts simple prayers of faith such as O Lord my God; light up my eyes!

Light is the source of all life. Our spiritual lives need light also.  The light of God’s love and favor never fails to eventually overshadow our despair and usher in the strength to trust, to hope again. 

Psalm 13 invites you and I to practice waiting and to remember that God has never failed us.  Faith has triumphed.  During this season of Advent, may you and I wait with our eyes enlightened by the God of all hope.