Wednesday, December 7th

Longing:  An Advent Devotional Overland Park Church of the Nazarene Advent 2016 Wednesday, December 7th   CONNECT As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:   Opening Prayer Almighty God of Israel, defender of the poor and oppressed, we are blessed to call you our Lord. Teach us to follow you, and allow us to see our world with your eyes that we may live as your people and give glory to your name. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.   Hymn 1. Hail to the Lord's Anointed, great David's greater Son! Hail in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; to take away transgression, and rule in equity.   2. He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong; to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong; to give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light, whose souls, condemned and dying, are precious in his sight.   3. He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth; love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth. Before him on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go, and righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.   4. To him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend; his kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end. The tide of time shall never his covenant remove; his name shall stand forever; that name to us is love.   GROW:  Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19     As we approach Christmas, we live in the hope that only Christ fulfills.  Psalm 72 points us to this hope.  Some scholars believe this song was either written by or for King Solomon at the beginning of his reign. Israel had hope in their new king, but even more importantly, they had hope in God to guide their king. While the original writer may have intended to bless Solomon’s reign with this work, we see this with a different lens.     As Christians, it is not hard for us to understand that this promise of one who brings justice, righteousness, and blessing goes beyond Solomon, but is a promise of the Messiah. We acknowledge that when John the Baptist was born, his father, Zechariah, echoed the words of this Psalm in his own prophecy of the Messiah. When Christ read from Isaiah in the temple and identified his purpose, he again echoed the theme of one who is sent to restore and make things right. We see more clearly with the hindsight that is the Christian faith.     As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ this year, we continue to anticipate with Israel the promise of that which has not yet come to be. Yet unlike ancient Israel, we have the privilege to rejoice that what was once promised has now become reality. We have assurance that our hope has come. We now live in the reality that Christ is, has been, and will continue bringing justice, righteousness, and blessing. This Psalm is a song for a leader, a king to lead his people into blessing and a Savior to lead us to righteousness. May we look with hope for Christ to lead us to justice, righteousness, and blessing.   SERVE As Christ leads us, we must follow. If he is about the business of defending the cause of the poor and giving deliverance to the needy (v. 4), then must we not do the same? Take a moment today to call or email one of our local shelters or aid organizations to see what help is needed. It may be time or resources, but begin with a call today to involve yourself in service to someone who is less fortunate. As you do, tell your pastors about how your service to others has taught you or helped you to grow. We would love to hear how the hope of Christ is being lived out through your service. —Pastor Rachel Shald

Longing:  An Advent Devotional

Overland Park Church of the Nazarene

Advent 2016

Wednesday, December 7th

 

CONNECT

As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:

 

Opening Prayer

Almighty God of Israel, defender of the poor and oppressed, we are blessed to call you our Lord. Teach us to follow you, and allow us to see our world with your eyes that we may live as your people and give glory to your name. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.

 

Hymn

1. Hail to the Lord's Anointed,
great David's greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,
his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
to set the captive free;
to take away transgression,
and rule in equity.

 

2. He comes with succor speedy
to those who suffer wrong;
to help the poor and needy,
and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing,
their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying,
are precious in his sight.

 

3. He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth;
love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in his path to birth.
Before him on the mountains,
shall peace, the herald, go,
and righteousness, in fountains,
from hill to valley flow.

 

4. To him shall prayer unceasing
and daily vows ascend;
his kingdom still increasing,
a kingdom without end.
The tide of time shall never
his covenant remove;
his name shall stand forever;
that name to us is love.

 

GROW:  Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

    As we approach Christmas, we live in the hope that only Christ fulfills.  Psalm 72 points us to this hope.  Some scholars believe this song was either written by or for King Solomon at the beginning of his reign. Israel had hope in their new king, but even more importantly, they had hope in God to guide their king. While the original writer may have intended to bless Solomon’s reign with this work, we see this with a different lens.

    As Christians, it is not hard for us to understand that this promise of one who brings justice, righteousness, and blessing goes beyond Solomon, but is a promise of the Messiah. We acknowledge that when John the Baptist was born, his father, Zechariah, echoed the words of this Psalm in his own prophecy of the Messiah. When Christ read from Isaiah in the temple and identified his purpose, he again echoed the theme of one who is sent to restore and make things right. We see more clearly with the hindsight that is the Christian faith.

    As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ this year, we continue to anticipate with Israel the promise of that which has not yet come to be. Yet unlike ancient Israel, we have the privilege to rejoice that what was once promised has now become reality. We have assurance that our hope has come. We now live in the reality that Christ is, has been, and will continue bringing justice, righteousness, and blessing. This Psalm is a song for a leader, a king to lead his people into blessing and a Savior to lead us to righteousness. May we look with hope for Christ to lead us to justice, righteousness, and blessing.

 

SERVE

As Christ leads us, we must follow. If he is about the business of defending the cause of the poor and giving deliverance to the needy (v. 4), then must we not do the same? Take a moment today to call or email one of our local shelters or aid organizations to see what help is needed. It may be time or resources, but begin with a call today to involve yourself in service to someone who is less fortunate. As you do, tell your pastors about how your service to others has taught you or helped you to grow. We would love to hear how the hope of Christ is being lived out through your service.

—Pastor Rachel Shald