As we lift up scriptures about Jesus the Messiah as prayers to be fulfilled, let’s pray that the church will see God clearly: not as the angry, judgmental God the way religion has portrayed, but as a perfectly loving God who is angry at suffering and injustice, and whose judgement is good news for the hurting and oppressed! It’s like a judge who hears a horrible abuse case in court, and rules in favor of the victim to provide safety and justice for her by ensuring that the perpetrator will not be allowed to keep hurting others… This judgement is GOOD NEWS for the victim! God’s judgement is good news for all creation, out of love for he created! This is the only kind of judgement we are to reflect. God invited us to be partners with Him in loving others (and all creation), which includes defending others from injustices. This is different from the kind of judgement the Pharisees were guilty of, as they played the role of the accuser (which is Satan, not God). This prophecy about Jesus describes God’s loving judgement for creation:
“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.”
The main theme of our Advent prayer is that “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD” (verse 9), starting with the church knowing the truth about why God became flesh to rescue his people through Jesus, which will help us anticipate and begin to manifest this beautiful picture of restored peace:
“The wolf shall live with the lamb
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.”
Thank you God for becoming flesh to save us from evil, reveal yourself as love incarnate, and teach us how to live in your love. Thank you for being Immanuel, God with us. May the whole world experience that reality, from lost and hurting people to suffering animals.
Lord Jesus, you who are One with Yahweh and love incarnate, you DID change everything! My soul thanks and praises and glorifies you! But I grieve that the faith was hijacked and corrupted, and that there is still so much darkness in this world. Oh God, if a missing piece is a people who SEE you as you revealed yourself in Christ crucified and who are to partner with you in sharing and reflecting that love, then please help us do that. Change and accomplish all you desire in us and through us.
In the name of Jesus who became flesh and conquered death itself, finish the good work you started Lord, your whole creation cries out for you to finish your triumph over evil. But in this already-not-yet time period, help us to trust in what you’ve already accomplished on the cross, where the display of who you are – perfect sacrificial love – was enough to defeat the works of the devil. You provided a way for your whole creation to be reconciled to you by shining your light into the darkness to which our sin subjected creation. Now help us to be a people who live as if we have the good news. Like a match lighting up the darkness, help us participate in pushing back darkness as we trust that your light is spreading across the cosmos! Thank you that we get to be a part in that as we help restore peace and reconciliation!
Thank you for reading and following our blog; we pray you are blessed by our work and will share it with others! This Advent season, may you look with new eyes upon the Lord Jesus, the baby who’s birth we celebrate changed everything! And may you find him to be the lamp unto your feet as he so longs to be for each and every one of us! God bless. ~Jessica