Reading: Isaiah 64: 1-4
Verse One: “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down.”
As we begin Advent today, we are preparing to remember when Jesus first came as a baby. There is an anticipation that builds as we walk through this holy season. There is an excitement that grows as we draw nearer to the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Part of our excitement and anticipation is built upon what comes next though. The birth is exciting and grand partly because of the life that is then lived by Jesus the Messiah. Jesus the Savior brought new life and love into the world. Jesus allowed people to connect to God in a new way and also opened up the way to eternal life for all who believe.
As Isaiah wrote today’s passage, there was a deep longing for hope and God’s presence. The Israelites had just returned from a long period in exile. Things were not as they had been. Life was hard. Isaiah voices the people’s deep-felt need for God when he writes, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down.” It is a plea. He is begging for God to come down and to intercede for the people. The people long for God to come down to “make your name known” as God once again does “awesome things”. The people of God are anticipating the restoration of God’s reign. It is a waiting they want ended very soon.
On the edge of Advent, we too anticipate God’s reign. Many people long for God to intercede in their lives today. They long for God to bind up their hurts, to end their season in exile, to make all things new, to once again feel hope and love. We all long for the God who “acts on behalf of those who wait upon Him”. We too wait with hope and excitement for Christ to come down once again, to begin His forever reign. In the interim though, we live now with the risen Christ, daily looking forward to His presence and activity in our daily lives.
As we wait, we pray for Jesus to be near the broken, to heal their hurts, to restore their lives to wholeness. We ask that we may be used in the process, to have open hearts and willing hands. May it be so. Amen.