Tuesday December 1, 2020
Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
We come to you with great anticipation and preparation. Open our minds, open our hearts, open ourselves to what you want us to hear and experience today as we read your word.
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
In light of the present invasion and havoc from the empire of Assyria upon Israel, in light of the ongoing pandemic, in light of the situation in your life you wish was different, we can read the past as being transformed in light of God’s promise. Isaiah speaks in the past tense about what God has done even though historically it hasn’t happened yet.
Hope is about anticipating a future that is greater than the past. Hope is about waiting with tense expectation for God to make everything right. Hope is based on the child, the Son of God. Isaiah’s word from God already sees the future God is making with such clarity that he uses past tense to reference seeing a great light; he uses past tense to reference God enlarging the nation and increasing her joy; he uses past tense to reference God shattering the yoke, the bar, and rod of oppression. The hope of Christ is so real to Isaiah he talks about the future in the past tense. What victory can you be thankful for that God has already won even though it hasn’t happened yet?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Lord, Make advent real in our hearts.
Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now.
Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh.
Lord, we need Your peace and joy. We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.
The First 15
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