Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

Advent Devotion 07

8th December 2020
Audio: 

In our previous Advent devotions 1-6, we attempted to answer introductory questions related to Advent namely: What, When, Why Advent, how it is arranged, its main themes, and “How the Old Testament and New Testament readings are related in Advent?”

In our following devotions we shall seek to get lessons and prayers based on the themes that are common to both Old Testament and New Testament passages allocated in Table 2 (1) of Readings in Advent lectionary. 

GOD’S COMPASSION

Today’s Old Testament passage; Isaiah 30: 19-33, reads in part:

“People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  

The New Testament passage Matthew 14:13-36 reads in part; 

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. 

The clear message that runs through these passages is the good news of God’s compassionate grace to His people. In spite the rebellion against God by the people of Judah including the failure of their religious leaders to speak out God’s will, God still promised those who cry to Him saying “you will weep no more and … As soon as he hears, he will answer” and give them clear instructions regarding the way they should walk. God promised saying  “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Similarly, when Jesus saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick”. Jesus then used the availability of only 5 loves and 2 fish and miraculously made sure the “five thousand men, besides women and children” ate and were satisfied.

A great message to us today that; the faithful only need to cry to God in faith, seek to hear God’s guiding voice in every situation, avail themselves with what they have available and God will continue to meet the challenging needs.

Prayer: 

“Our gracious God enable us by your Spirit to cry to you for help, carefully hear your guiding voice and in faith avail ourselves and what we have for your use, for the glory of your name." Amen.

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