Advent Devotion for December 29
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “His government and its peace will never end.”
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:7
7 His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:32-33
32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
SOME THOUGHTS: How long does forever last? We live in a world fixated on time. We are always working for faster and faster transactions of data. So far the shortest measure of time is the theoretical “attoseconds” (1.2 x 10^-17 seconds)! And what is the point? Contrast this with “forever.” Our mindset is so very different from the eternal. We have trouble grasping a concept of “time” outside of our own. Isaiah and Gabriel both speak of the reign of the Son of God as never ending. The closest we may get to understanding eternity is a stream of endless days. Think of eternity not as endless hours, but no hours at all! The pressure is off to complete the project by such and such a time! There is always fairness and justice in every situation. No wonder there is “peace.” We are often admonished in Scripture to set our minds on “things above.” C.S. Lewis comments, “Aim for heaven and you will get earth thrown in, aim for earth and you’ll get neither.” (Mere Christianity, p.134) Our Savior entered our world in Bethlehem. He left our world from the Mount of Olives. For that brief period, the Son of David lived among us. But that is only the “timed” portion of the story. He has reentered eternity and is preparing a place for each of his children to join him forever. We need always to see the Nativity in the context of the eternal. In addition to the fact that you are living on the earth, you are also a part of the eternal right now. Set your sights on heaven.
MUSIC: “Silent Night”
PRAYER: Almighty God, who of Thine infinite wisdom hast ordained that I should live my life within these narrow bounds of time and circumstance, let me now go forth into the world with a brave and trustful heart. It has pleased Thee to withhold from me a perfect knowledge; therefore deny me not the grace of faith by which I may lay hold of things unseen. Thou hast given me little power to mold things to my own desire; therefore use Thine own omnipotence to bring Thy desires to pass within me. Thou hast willed it that through labor and pain I should walk the upward way; be Thou then my fellow traveler as I go. And grant that I be not so distracted with this world that I lose track of the eternal world to which I go. This I pray in the name of the pioneer of our faith, even Jesus Christ, the Lord. Amen. — adapted from A Diary of Private Prayer, John Baillie/DS, P.85