Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

Advent Devotion 04

3rd December 2020

Today we begin with the question;
“What are the main themes in Advent?”

During Advent, the Church’s two main themes are; 
1.    Preparation for the celebration of the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as savior at Christmas.
2.     Prayerful anticipation of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for the second time as the judge of the dead and the living.


Does it surprise you when you notice that someone who has been preached to severally, still sounds rather ignorant or care less about what the Bible teaches? 
Today’s Old Testament reading; Isaiah 28:14-29 is a warning against those mocking God’s message. We read in part;

“Now stop your mocking,
or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
of the destruction decreed against the whole land.

Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.
When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
When he has leveled the surface,
does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
barley in its plot,
and spelt in its field?
His God instructs him
and teaches him the right way.
All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
whose plan is wonderful,
whose wisdom is magnificent.

The New Testament reading; Matthew 13:1-23 warns against indifference to Gods word. It reads in part; 

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.  Whoever has, will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.  This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 

The readings underline the good news of God’s grace in reaching out to His people, warning them and as a good teacher patiently teaching them even with the clarity of using parables drawn from their day to-day activities. The bad news is the possibility of people’s negative response by mocking the message instead of giving careful attention, leading themselves to the worst in their thinking and practice. We all have the responsibility of hearing, paying careful attention and indeed turning to God for healing, or else we get to the worst of character and practice. 


“God forgive our indifference to your word written and preached. Help us give your message great attention and obedience in turning away from our sinful ways, for the glory of your name. Also, help us to look forward to your promised eternal life, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Amen.

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