Thursday, December 28, 2006

Isaiah 29:13-24; Psalm 80; Revelation 21:22-22:5; Luke 1:39-56

The readings for today really come down to what God expects of us. In Isaiah 29:13-24, the people say they honor God, but their actions really don’t bear witness to their words. The Lord says he will show them many wonders so they will acknowledge the holy one of Israel and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Yet in Psalm 80, the people ask why the Lord their God has deserted them and left them in the wilderness. The fact is the Lord sent them into the wilderness to grow in their faith. However, they look at it as punishment, and they promise that, if he will restore them, they “will call upon [his] name”. That sounds a little like trying to cut a deal, doesn’t it? Is that what God wants us to do, make deals with him?

In Luke 1:39-56, in the Song of Mary, the Lord is mindful of the humble state of his servant. His mercy extends to those who fear him, meaning those who acknowledge and honor him. He scatters those who are proud in their inner most thoughts, meaning those who honor themselves more than him. Finally, in Revelation 21:22- 22:5, John describes the new Jerusalem that will come down from heaven when the Lord returns to claim his own. It is notable what John said he did not see in his vision of the second coming – he saw no temples. Wouldn’t you think there would be places for the people to worship the Lord? John said the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temples of the new Jerusalem. That, to me, tells us we should worship God and our Lord Christ instead of the physical – whether structures such as buildings or the organizations that tell us how to worship. We must not be distracted from our ultimate goal.

John instructs us that the impure will never enter the new Jerusalem. If we heed all the Lord has told us and lead the lives he has brought us to, then in effect we will be pure and will ourselves become temples to the Lord. We will shine as examples for others. When all is said and done, isn’t that what being a Christian is all about?

- Darrell Breed



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