The Pastor's Peace - December, 2008
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Isaiah 64:1 "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down..."

O how we wish that Isaiah's prayer would come true today. In the sixth century BCE, when Isaiah wrote, Judah was in great despair. They had lost the temple and had been in exile in Babylon. The sixty-forth chapter of Isaiah was written to a distraught group of people in Jerusalem, waiting in anticipation for God to renew the covenant and save them.

As Christians we find that new covenant in Jesus the Christ. Jesus is sent by God as an answer to the prayers of Isaiah and others who struggled with the difficulties of a broken world. Jesus was a final covenant, a salvation of all of humanity, a great light that would never cease to outshine the darkness of our world. Although our sins are forgiven through Christ, and we know God is with us, sometimes the world can still seem dark.

In these current economic times, things such as layoffs and disappearing retirements can leave us in great despair. Theycan leave us longing, like Isaiah, for God to come again from the heavens and deliver us. Time and time again I have heard the stories of people who, upon
losing their jobs, feel like they are worthless. Men of older generations in particular feel that somehow their masculinity itself has been stripped away by their inability to provide for their family. This Advent season is a time for us to remember what it was like to wait in anticipation. For many people this year, such anticipation for salvation will not be too hard to imagine.

Despite the difficulty, despite the hardship, we must remember that a light does shine and is with us and in us. Even in the time of Isaiah, God was still with them. God was still working through the prophets and guiding the people of Israel. God is still with us today, as well. We do not know when God will tear open the heavens again to usher in Christ's return, but we must have hope. We must believe the promise of God and look for the light again with fresh eyes in a world that seems to be in such need. Even if Jesus does not come back today or tomorrow, or for a thousand years, we can still help usher in the Kingdom of God every day of our lives. We can do it; we can help bring light to those who need it. In this season of Advent, this season of such deep anticipation, take a moment and ask yourself, "How am I bringing the light of Christ? How am I living out God's promise?"

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian