Summary: remembering and renewing the hope of messiah, His second coming, in our day.
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. 2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. 4 He will defend the poor and the exploited. He will rule against the wicked and destroy them with the breath of his mouth. 5 He will be clothed with fairness and truth.
6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard and the goat will be at peace. Calves and yearlings will be safe among lions, and a little child will lead them all. 7 The cattle will graze among bears. Cubs and calves will lie down together. And lions will eat grass as the livestock do. 8 Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes and pull it out unharmed. 9 Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain. And as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD.
10 In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, for the land where he lives will be a glorious place.
Perhaps you read the one about the Alberta man who left the snow-filled streets of Calgary for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick E-mail message. Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her E-mail address, he did his best to type it from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter in the E-mail address and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her E-mail, she took one look at the computer monitor and let out a scream; and fell to the floor in a dead faint. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen: Dearest Wife, Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P.S. Sure is hot down here!
Oi, how do u like that? Are you prepared for the arrival of Christ? When all of a sudden, Christ appears, will you be prepared? Due to the war on terrorism, I watched with interest how some office towers in Canada are now running drills to evacuate their buildings. They want to be prepared in case of an attack.
Similarly, Advent is a time of the year in the Christian calendar, where we are running a drill to prepare for Christmas. Time to reflect not only on the first coming but also the second coming of Christ. Time to slow down, check our hearts, preparing the heart to receive the promise of what the Christ-child would mean for the redemption of the world. Time to reach out with the message that God does love the world so much that He gave us the humble Christ-child, to tell us God is approachable, not an uncaring distant relative who writes once a year, a Christmas card, if you are lucky.
But this Advent season is kinda clouded isn’t it? With news of war, terrorism, economic slowdown, jobs being cut here in BC in big ways… Do u agree that the world we have now is a scary place? It’s like we have been dropped behind enemy lines, ducking for safety all the time wondering when the next round of gunfire is starting up again. The workforce magazine “Personnel Journal” put together this incredible statistic: since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than eight percent of the time! In its study, the periodical discovered that of 3540 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Wow! In that time more than 8000 peace treaties were made--and broken. Yikes! Now wonder, the Bible says we live in a broken world, where we are thirsting for perfection, for heaven. 2 Cor.5:1-5 (NLT) says,
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down—when we die and leave these bodies—we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. 4 Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.