My thoughts for Monday School are all about Advent….this season of waiting and hoping.
I wrote part of this last year. I share it again because I’m even more aware of the longing……the deep ache within my heart…..
And I know I can’t be the only one.
“Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth
before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might;
come and save us.
Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.
How long, Lord God Almighty……….” Psalm 80:1-4a
The nation of Israel cried out for hundreds of years waiting on the Promised One. My favorite Christmas hymn expresses the same longing for salvation.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
The promise was kept.
Jesus came. Emmanuel.
He is here. God with us.
Jesus, come into our world. Come and change our hearts. Come into our brokenness and apathy. Come and shine your light into our darkness. Come and awaken within us the wonder of the babe in a manger.
The One who has come now asks us to come.
He invites us to peace and rest. Even now.
In the midst of the decorating and parties, Christmas programs and overindulging. In the traffic, long lines and shopping malls. In the middle of our desire to give out happiness in perfectly wrapped boxes. …….He asks us to come.
Come and reflect on the miracle of God becoming man. Come and remember. Come and follow Him with all our hearts.
Jesus says, “Come.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I’m reading an Advent devotional from Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts. You can check it out here.
Photo courtesy of Negative Space