Prepare to Listen. As you light the 1st purple candle, pray: Tear open the heavens and come down today, O Lord.
Prayerfully Read Isaiah 64:1-4
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence--
2as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil--
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence.” This prayer became real and urgent for many of us this year. We got weary with covid-19; we were frustrated at the way our political leaders bungled their response and even lied about it; we grieved the loss of lives, jobs, economy, church gatherings and more. We mourned the polarization of our nation (USA) that was made worse in this election and its aftermath. We got so tired we dared to be as abrupt and demanding in our plea as this ancient prophet. Like him, we commanded God to come down.
It wasn’t a request for a ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’ to come and be nice and reassuring. But for a dramatic and visible display of the Lord’s presence right here, one that would be seen and experienced by all, including our adversaries.
The prophet was abrupt and bold because he knew all what God had done before (v3) and believed God could and would do it again because his God (and ours) is incomparable. Therefore he boasted, “no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.”
What line/s comforted you today? What line/s disturbed you?
Respond to Jesus
Tear open the heavens and come down, O Lord. Void the gap between heaven and earth. And please don’t be quiet about it. We want the whole world to see and hear and experience your presence among us. Do again those “awesome deeds that we did not expect,” make the mountains quake yet again at your presence when you come down. Amen
Go live obediently in the world. Dare to be bold and demanding, like the prophet.
I am convinced that reading the Christian Bible is essential for our Christian spiritual nourishment. I speak from experience, over 60 years of experience. I also believe we'll never get bored reading the Bible over and over. Each time I read it, I learn something new. Read with me during Advent and learn to wait for Christ with heart and mind alert for his coming. The readings draw on my background of study and teaching the Bible for over 30 years.