December 15, 2019: Shall Return
Text for Sunday, December 15, 2019:
PReparation for worship
“Where the understanding is outraged, where human nature rebels, where our piety keeps a nervous distance: there, precisely there, God loves to be; there He baffles the wisdom of the wise; there He vexes our nature, our religious instincts. There He wants to be, and no one can prevent Him. Only the humble believe Him and rejoice that God is so free and grand, that He works wonders where man loses heart, that He makes splendid what is slight and lowly. Indeed, this is the wonder of wonders, that God loves the lowly. “God has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden.” God in lowliness-- that is the revolutionary, the passionate word of Advent.”
I can relate to the question John the Baptist asks of Jesus in this week’s Gospel reading: Are you the one, or should we look for another?
A poignant question for a man in prison for telling the truth.
Where is the everlasting joy upon my head? Where is the gladness and joy? When will sorrow and sighing flee away? Isaiah says these things will be true and mine when the Messiah comes.
If you are struggling this Advent (I am), a discipline I have been practicing might be helpful. Everyday I take a few moments to pray Psalm 13:
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.