Longing: An Advent Devotional
Overland Park Church of the Nazarene
Thursday, December 8th
As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:
Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.
GROW: Isaiah 11:1-10
On Sunday we were introduced to our new young king, the Messiah, who would bring his perfect justice to the earth. We have learned in scripture and in our own lives that the justice of all other rulers is imperfect, incomplete, and unsatisfactory. The story, however, is not finished simply with offering of perfect justice. It is also a justice offered in perfect love, and it is to that theme which will guide us today.
In God’s perfect love the Messiah will bring New Creation. Imagine a world where mortal enemies are peaceful companions. A wolf living with a lamb is insanity. A little child leading the earth is ludicrous. Lions won’t devour the other animals, but will eat straw as a regular farm animal. And children will play with venomous snakes. This is simply unbelievable in the world that we know. It is not, however, ridiculous to the God who created all things in heaven and on earth. The vision of New Creation is exactly what God will do through the Messiah.
Over all the earth and in all of our lives the Messiah will bring Peace. Unspeakable Peace. Delightful Peace. An end will come to the enmity between ourselves and our God, and the whole creation will delight in all things new.
On this day God calls us to live now in the hope of God making all things new. As a symbol of God’s new creation, gift new essential clothing to the Kansas City Rescue Mission. At this time of year the Mission residents need new coats, new warm socks, new warm under garments. You may bring your new gifts to the church next Sunday, December 11th.
—Pastor Phil Hamner