We are Still Waiting

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“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” –Genesis 3:15

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” –Revelation 21:3-5

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." -2 Peter 3:9

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People do a lot of waiting at this time of year. Lines abound at stores as we hurry to buy all our gifts. Frustrations mount, as everything seems to take so much longer at the same time that we feel such a rush to do everything so quickly. We feel stuck in waiting.

The first prophecy of the coming of the Messiah was at the beginning of humanity, not tens, not hundreds, but thousands of years before Jesus arrived. There was a posture of waiting and anticipating the day of Jesus’ arrival since some of the first days of our existence.

The waiting did not stop at the first Advent. It has now been thousands of years again since prophecies were uttered about Jesus’ second coming. When finally, FINALLY, all things will be made completely right. When what began in his first coming will come to full fruition.

Many days, I walk around as if I am not waiting. I am fortunate in my circumstances and I lose sight of how this world is still a mess. I become blind to the daily struggles of so many who live in this world.

But then, something happens that wakes me up. This world’s brokenness slaps me in the face, and I remember that I am still waiting. Waiting for this world to be made right. Waiting for God to keep His promise. Waiting for Satan’s power to be crushed forever. Waiting for tears to be wiped away for good.

We are still waiting. We are still longing for a Savior.

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O Dear Savior, we need You. Come relieve our waiting. Come keep Your promise. Come rescue this world. Come wipe away our tears. Come end our pain. Come set things right for good. Come with Your peace, come with Your joy, come with Your grace, come with Your hope, and set this world right once and for all. Be with us in our waiting. Help us to be patient, and yet help us never give up our longing for You. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Future of Forestry

“Oh come thou day-spring come and cheer Our spirits by thine advent here Disperse the gloomy clouds of night And death's dark shadows put to flight”


NoticingImmanuel

Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.

Wonder: Prophecy of His Coming

The years and years of waiting for the Messiah were not silent.  

The prophets filled those waiting years with words about whom their Savior would be, how He would be born, and what He would come to do. Their words would have filled the Israelites with anticipation of what it would be like when the Messiah finally came.

 

On this Christmas Eve, the final day of anticipation before celebrating the Savior’s birth, instead of reading my words, let’s read some of these words written about Jesus before He ever came.

 

Some of these prophecies speak words about what Jesus did when He arrived on earth and lived as a human. Some speak about what He will do when He comes back to this earth again.

 

 

Old Testament prophecies should fill us with wonder at the greatness of the One Who came to save us.

 

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. – Genesis 3:15

 

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. – Genesis 49:10

 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14

 

The people walking in darkness     have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness     a light has dawned. - Isaiah 9:2

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:6-7

 

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. – Isaiah 11:1-5

 

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior." – Jeremiah 23:5-6

 

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. - Micah 5:2

 

Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of our Messiah. The fulfillment of these prophecies has begun.

 

That is the wonderful news of Christmas.

 

Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.

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