Worship God soaking in the tenderness of God. Worship Him today like a child crawling into her Father’s lap.
Isaiah 40:11 Common English Bible (CEB)
Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;
he will gather lambs in his arms
and lift them onto his lap.
- What are you bringing to this prayerful time with God today (worries, hopes, fears, etc.)?
- What are you sensing about your biggest desire? Now that we are nearly halfway through this Advent season, consider putting to paper what your biggest desire for His coming is. Write it down and begin to pray about it daily.
Allow yourself whatever time is necessary here in prayer to get in touch with this deep longing of your soul while allowing God to speak.
2 Peter 3:14-15a, Mark 1:4
Preparing for Christ’s coming in judgment
14 Therefore, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found by him in peace, pure and faultless. 15 Consider the patience of our Lord to be salvation, just as our dear friend and brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him,
4 John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins.
There is a new world
This new world is here now – and is coming. This glorious new reality, where all injustices will be set right, where no tear will slip from eyes tired from grief, where my special needs son will freely walk, has already come and is coming.
This new world came uneventfully; it came in ordinary, everyday life.
So, it is easy to miss.
When we look at our everyday life, we see deception and betrayal at every turn. We see rampant consumerism, greed, and selfishness. We see politicians carping and fighting and one-upping one another while children starve around the world. We see sex-trafficking and genocide and war.
We see ourselves looking to our political parties, our corporate and political leaders, our ideologies and our just-make-the-world-make-sense-to-me-black-and-white beliefs for rescue.
But there can be no rescue because this world is just as much a virtual reality world as any video game.
To put your hope into this world will find this world suddenly turning on you seeking to devour any last shred of hope you have.
Where can we catch a glimpse of this new world?
Jesus came into such a world over 2,000 years ago (sans technology, of course).
The entire preceding paragraphs can be cut and pasted into Jesus time and they would describe the world He entered into unceremoniously in a dusty manger, without fanfare, as a mere babe.
Jesus said often that His kingdom was near. He said it enough we should pay attention. In a world of class division and forced compliance through political power, Jesus announced there was a new world operating right under their noses.
And Jesus modeled for us how to see it and live in this new reality. We see this new world best in Jesus.
Ushering in this new world
In a world of power and division, of rejection and anger, Jesus instructed us to not see the “other” as a threat to be defeated, but as a fellow sheep on the journey to becoming fully alive and human in Him.
Yesterday, we meditated on what Jesus desires from us when He comes to finally and completely bring this new world to culmination: to be found as peacemakers!
When Jesus comes, will He find us building bridges to those who believe differently than us? Will He find us in a posture of peace with those who would wage war against us? Would He find us worshipping Him as Savior and King over and above anything else?
Once again while we wait for His coming, let us ask ourselves…
- Today, what do you need to do to be at peace with God?
- Today, what do you need to do to be at peace with yourself?
- Today, what do you need to do to adopt a lifestyle posture of peace toward others?
Is there one person today you need to forgive? Will you pray for them?
A Closing Prayer
Help us to see this coming world that is already here. Lord, when I really look, I know I can see this world when I read stories of unexpected forgiveness, when I witness small acts of kindness, even when I see the bell ringers outside of the store.
Lord, most of all I see this new world in me. When I look at what I once was, now I see You. Lord, help me to see the world with the same eyes.
- This evening, continue again to worship through Psalm 80:3 as a personal prayer. Return to this often over this Advent season.
- Be on the lookout throughout your day tomorrow for one small way you can bring peace to this world.
Scriptures from Our Advent Series
Texts for First Advent Week:?Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
Texts for Second Advent Week: Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Mark 1:1-8