Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God With Us!

The sky is gray. The water is black. The air is cold. My cell phone is down to 4%. I have no electricity. The house is quiet because the fans blowing heat do not operate. There is no television to provide background noise. The two noises I do hear are the snoring of a dog and the rhythm of a grandfather clock. Even the hum of the refrigerator, which I dare not open lest it lose valuable cold, is silent. In the midst of this I find humor. I am trying to banish cold from one place while doing all I can to keep it in another.     
I wait for deliverance. In no way do I want to equate Oncor with my Savior. However, it is in times like these, even when our “suffering” is so trivial, that we are reminded of Advent. We get so comfortable. We love our conveniences, and we don’t know what to do when they are gone, even if it is only for a brief period.
Deliverance is a beautiful thing. It is the anticipation that pushes our patience to the limit. It is the only thing that our modern secularized Christmas has retained from its original. Children and many adults, waiting to see what has been left under our tree. For some of us, the wait is excruciating.
All those Advent hymns begin to make sense now: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, O Come, O Come, Emanuel, Prepare the Way. Then finally to burst forth with the praises of Joy to the World, Good Christian Men, Rejoice, Go, Tell It on the Mountain, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.
In Isaiah, the Lord promised king Ahaz deliverance from foreign invaders. He wanted to show the strength of His commitment to Ahaz by binding it with a sign. Yahweh God said, “Ask the Lord you God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
Ahaz, trapped in his own self-righteousness turned down the chance to see God’s power first-hand.
God’s response through the prophet Isaiah? “Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: A virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Emmanuel!”
Ahaz did not live to see that sign, nor did Isaiah, but we have seen what they did not. We live in the rejoicing when they lived in the anticipating. We now live in the anticipating of the victorious second return – Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus!

Pastor Craig