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Advent 1

advent

“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted” (Isa 52:13)

If you didn’t know it, then, welcome!, we are in the time traditionally known in the Church as Advent. Now advent means: the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. So for the Church, Advent is the time of reflection and meditation which brings us to Christmas, which commemorates, no, not Jesus’ birthday, but more notably, the arrival of the Messiah.  Messiah (or Christ, in Greek) simply means “anointed one.”  To be anointed for something, especially in the Old Testament, means that by God someone or something has been appointed for a special purpose.

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,

and the day of vengance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

to grant those who mourn in Zion–

to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

[to give them] the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

[to give them] the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.”

Isa 61:1-3

Who is this Anointed One?

This Messiah?

Who must we look for?

Who must we listen to?

Who will bring these things about?

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and might,

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

or decide disputes by what his ears hear,

but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,

and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,

and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,

and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Isa 11:1-5 (ESV)

Shhhhhhhhhh……

You are about to meet him……..this,

Messiah.

This,

Anointed One.

Shhhhhhhhh……

It will happen too easily!

Caution.  These word may be familiar to you.

(Though their impact may still allude you.)

Your heart may be dull….

Your ears may be dull…..

You sight may be dull….

” ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

Make the heart of this people dull…”

Isa 6:9,10 (ESV)

You may not realize how many generations have been desperately waiting for this news…

“For truly, I say to you,

many prophets and righteous people longed

to see what you see, and did not see it,

and to hear what you hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Mt 13:17

this gospel…..

O Jerusalem, herald of good news;

lift it up, fear not;

say to the cities of Judah….”

Isa 40:9

Shhhhhhhhh……

….

….

Pssst…

Over there….

look….

Shhhhh……..

“Then Jesus came

form Galilee to the Jordan…”

“And when Jesus was baptized,

immediately he went up from the water,

and behold….”

(BEHOLD!!! OH MATTHEW WANTS TO SCREAM IT!!)

(BEHOLD!!! LOOK!!!)

(WATCH!!!!)

…and behold,

the heavens were opened to him,

and he saw

the Spirit of God descending like a dove

and coming

to rest

on

him.”

Mt 3:13, 16

Oh!…….

Messiah…..

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee…”

“And he came to Nazareth…to the synagogue…

and he stood up to read…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ “

Lk 4:14,16,18,19 (ESV)

Jesus.

Messiah.

Jesus.

Christ.

Behold,

Your God.

My prayer for you this Advent season is that Jesus ”shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted” equally in your thinking of Him and in your life for Him.

And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying

that there is another king,

Jesus.”

Acts 17:6–7 (ESV)

“On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written,

King of kings

and

Lord of Lords.”

Rev 19:16 (ESV)