Thursday, December 1, 2016

Advent Reflections - December 1


“The days are coming,”declares the LORD,“when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” 

Jeremiah 23:5


We all long for political leaders that will govern with wisdom, strive for justice and do what is right in our world. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Some of us witness freedom and others suffer the pain of injustice and oppression. Some live in peace, while others face the agony of death on a daily basis. 

Many of our hopes and dreams rest on the decisions that leaders make. The people of Israel hoped for some of the same things that we do. They had hope in the promise that God would one day send a savior into the world that would “reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” They longed for a leader that would grant freedom to their nation that would last for all eternity. In the birth of Jesus Christ, their hope finally came to fruition. But Jesus was something different and not quite what they expected. They expected a political, military and religious leader that would physically reign, physically save and literally build a great Kingdom of God’s chosen people.

The people of Israel lived in fear. Violence was a daily reality that they had been conditioned to live with. They prayed and expected a leader that would lead with a sword and defeat their enemies with military might. God had a different plan. Jesus came to spiritually reign, spiritually save and inaugurate a spiritual Kingdom that would overshadow all that we know on earth.

The Kingdom of God is very different than the earthly kingdoms that we live in. In God's Kingdom there is no reason to fear. In God's Kingdom there is no reason to arm ourselves. There is no need to kill. Through Christ and living as citizens of his Kingdom, we are set apart to live differently. We serve a King that transcends the governments of earth and satisfies all hopes and dreams more than any earthly leader can ever do. Through the Kingdom of God, we see what God longs for all of us to have, and through Jesus Christ, we see it inaugurated.    

God, as we join together in celebration of Advent, we give you praise and thanks because you are our King. We thank you because all of our dreams, hopes and desires are in you, and in you alone. Despite the violence, death and instability that we see in our world, help us to remember that through your divine rule, and through your kingdom, all is calm and all is bright.


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