The season of Advent calls us to anticipate with hope the coming of the Messiah. Israel remembered the words of the prophets and longed for the arrival of the Lord. As the prophet Isaiah stated hundreds of years before:
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 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—
3 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;
4 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.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples;
the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
What a great prophecy! We read these words today and know that the prophet's words have not yet been completely fulfilled. So we find ourselves in a similar place as those waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. We wait in anticipation for the coming of Jesus - His return.
We are not so different from those living in Israel 2000 years ago. As we look at the world around us, with its suffering, death, sin, sickness, and every form of evil, we should understand their longing and look forward in anticipation to the words found in Revelation 22: "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.'”
So let us remember our time in history this Advent season, with the only response that seems fitting:
"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
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