2016 Advent Devotional Day 24

December 20, 2016

Morning Psalms: 66, 67 | Evening Psalms: 116, 117 | Isaiah 11:10-16 | Revelation 20:11-21:8 | Luke 1:5-25

Advent is a time of hope. It is a time when the Church liturgically perceives the coming end of all things wherein the fallen world will be filled with the brightness of the Lord’s coming. Yet, it is in light of this hope that the world appears as a contradiction to this expectation. The world we inhabit is a fallen world, a place that lies in the shadow of sin and death. It is all too easy for many of us to forget the hope of Advent. In this world, the loneliness of daily living tempts us to believe that our Christian hope is too good to be true, that it is but a fleeting dream, a pious fiction. Yet the hope of Advent burns as a living fire, calling us to remember the truth about God, the world, and ourselves. “Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man” (Ps 66:5).

It is because Christ has certainly come—because he has suffered, died, and arisen—that we have hope that the darkness of our exile will one day be overcome by his return. This is the hope spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isa 11:12). As God has gathered his Israel from its exile, so will he liberate the creaturely world from the present age. Since God has dwelled among us in human flesh, we know that death is not the final end. The Son of God, in his glory, has traversed through our fallen world and has gathered all things in his wake. In him, the fragments of our lives, all our grief and toil, are gathered and remade by the warmth of his love. “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” (Rev 21:3b–4a).

Advent reminds us that as we dwell in the shadow of this present age, the dawn from on high will break upon us, and the light of his coming will awaken a new world.

Lord Jesus, renew the gift of hope in my heart that I may see all things in the light of your promised coming. Amen.

Derek Joseph Wiertel (MDiv 2014)
PhD Student at Wycliffe College
Toronto, ON, Canada

Morning Psalms: 66, 67 | Evening Psalms: 116, 117 | Isaiah 11:10-16 | Revelation 20:11-21:8 | Luke 1:5-25