Week 1 of Advent | Danielle Jones

Tuesday, December 4

Psalms 5, 6, 10, 11
Isaiah 1.21-31
Luke 20.9-18
1 Thessalonians 2.1-12

“Why do you stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10.1) These questions of the psalmist seem to greatly resonate in our culture as we are affronted with the pains, injustices and sorrows of this world. We relate well to David’s lamentations and prayers over his attacking adversaries as he writes, “My eye has wasted away with grief; it has become old because of my adversaries” (Psalm 6.7) and “For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness
at the upright in heart” (Psalm 11.2). The world the prophet Isaiah describes in Isaiah 1.21-23 is all too real to us.

Yet as we now find ourselves in the midst of the Christmas season, we are reminded that grief, wickedness, and sorrow do not have the last word. Christ came to bring us comfort above our earthly strife and to bring us hope for an eternal future. Isaiah does not leave the unfaithful city in ruins in Isaiah 1, but God promises to bring restoration, righteousness and redemption with justice (Isaiah 1.27). David fills his psalms with the language of comfort, describing God as one who listens to our cries to Him (Psalm 5.3), acts as a refuge,
shelter and shield to His faithful ones (Psalm 5.11-12) and rescues our souls because of His overabundant loving kindness (Psalm 6.4). Jesus came into this world of brokenness to bring hope, restoration and comfort for His people.

As followers of Christ, we are the bearers of the comfort and hope Christ gives through salvation in the world today. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul is our example of spreading this Gospel message of hope, even in the face of opposition. We must share the love, comfort and salvation Jesus provides with boldness, seeking to please God alone who has entrusted us with this message (I Thessalonians 2.4). Waiting for the complete redemption and restoration of this world to God, let us continue to spread God’s comfort and salvation, teaching ourselves and those we meet to “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory!”

Danielle Jones
Senior, Christian Leadership and English Major

To download a digital copy of the 2012 Advent Guide, put out by Belmont’s School of Religion, click here.

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