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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Week 1 Flashback: Advent's First Announcers

(I didn't get started sharing Advent devotions until week two, so here's a recap of week one.)

Advent begins with prophets.  The candle in the cupboard. The seed in the seed pouch.
Before the song is even figured, it is heard in the heart.
Before anything is realized, it is revealed.
Such is God's way with men.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,  "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;  for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."  

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.  Luke 2:25-38

"... a sign that is spoken against, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." 
We call him many names. Beautiful names.  Reassuring names.
Rarely do we call him the Revealer of Secret Hearts.
The exposer not simply of deeds--the Law alone is enough to measure a man's deeds--
But the Exposer of Motivations.
The Annunciation of the Why for every heart.
The Hope of all whose hearts long to touch the key to the glorious city.
The Even So that is pure and sure.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.  Rev. 22:20-21

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