Sunday, December 10
Isaiah 26:20-27:13 and 1 John 4:1-21
I enjoy growing a vegetable garden every summer. Yet my small plot of earth that was flourishing and producing juicy tomatoes, crisp green beans, and crunchy peppers just a few short months ago is now bare and desolate. Other than an occasional squirrel or some other nocturnal visitors (that I would prefer not to encounter anyway), my garden appears lifeless. While the long winter months can be depressing at times for a gardener, they also can bring great hope. As I plan my next garden, I imagine that now-empty patch of ground bursting forth with new growth in the spring and providing a plentiful harvest once again.
The frozen, bare ground of my garden reminds me of the city the prophet describes as solitary, deserted, and forsaken (Isaiah 27:10-11). God has inflicted His severe wrath against those who have rejected Him and persecuted His people. However, He does not leave His chosen people without hope. He is the keeper of His vineyard – his people Israel (Isaiah 27:3), and He promises, In days to come, Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit (Isaiah 27:6).
Although the winter months may sometimes seem like an eternity for the eager gardener, they pale in comparison to the centuries that passed between Isaiah’s prophesies and the long-anticipated arrival of the promised Messiah, Immanuel – God with us – who came as “the propitiation for our sins” to erase the wrath of God through His death and resurrection.
In the Advent season, we anticipate the celebration of the birth of that same Messiah who changed everything about our relationship with God. We get to experience God’s love for us in sending His Son. Our response to this immense gift of love can only be to show that same love to one another (1 John 4:11, 20).
Beyond all of this, we also anticipate with eager hope Jesus’ return and the fulfillment of His ultimate promise to His faithful people. For in that day a great trumpet will be blown and those who were lost…will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem (Isaiah 27:13).
What a day that will be!
DR. KYLE CHUHRAN
About this series
“God With Us: the uncommon advent of our Savior” is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the CUWAA community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God’s Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound enthusiasm and anticipation through the Holy Spirit.