Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 17, 2020
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:9-11 (NIV)
Though it may lack the warm sentiment and glowing nostalgia of the season, repentance lies at the very heart of Advent and Christmas. At a basic level, true repentance is first and foremost a re-centering on Jesus Christ and an honest assessment of ways that our life may be out of alignment with his own example. Though there are many other wonderful customs and traditions this time of year, we must not fail to miss this annual invitation into deeper communion with our Lord through humility and repentance.
In Isaiah 40, we are invited to climb the heights of a great mountain, from which we will see and hear the redemption of God as he draws near. This verse finds its fulfillment in the babe in the manger, the child born to tend his flock like a shepherd and gather us into his arms. The question before us, then, is how do we ascend this mountain? What is required of us to be able to hear the good news announced at Christmas?
The way to glory is always the way of humility. It is the way of mercy and forgiveness, learning to see our own faults and not judging our brothers and sisters. In God’s kingdom, the way down is always the way up. As Jesus so powerfully reminds us, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
The glory of God in Jesus is greater than we can possibly express. It is an unspeakable mystery that lies at the very heart of creation, yet in the wonder of God’s will, we are invited to ascend the mountain and see the goodness of God shown in Jesus Christ. And so today, begin the journey down towards repentance, so we can together ascend the mountain in glory!
Father, teach us to die with Christ in humility and repentance so we may also share in his glory. Amen.
What does intentional repentance and recommitment to the way of Jesus look like in your own life this Advent season?
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In God’s kingdom, the way down is always the way up. #repentance #wisdomhunters #Jesus #truth
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