Advent: Week 4

Read Isaiah 35 Here we find hope. What has been declared in Christ already, we look forward to. “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside is not a bad picture of advent.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Further reading: Isaiah 30:27-35:1)

John 1 (An Unexpected Child)

John is not the most expected Christmas passage. When you read the first chapter and you are wondering why anyone would open with such a mystical poem about the nature of someone you cannot see. But if you look closer you’ll begin to see that this chapter is what Christmas is all about. There is no time spent on wise men or shepherds or prophets or wild men in the wilderness preparing the way. John dives right into the nature of Jesus as one with the father.

The poem that covers the most of the first chapter is thought provoking. And if you let it carry your thought throughout the book, you begin to see how Jesus is the Word (logos) above any other thing we may label the Word of God. In all the book, John uses this idea of Word as declaration and saying. The Samaritan woman can’t help but reflect it. The disciples and other followers are being challenged by Jesus to let it penetrate there hearts. Even Pilate (a figure of the power of the empire) in chapter 19 is shaken to the core by a word or declaration (although it’s just from the Jewish Leaders).

What is proclaimed has power and is important. And the gospel is a proclamation that very powerful that not even a mighty empire   could stop it. God has sent one to show us a better way to live and to give us salvation. He comes bringing a freedom that is not just an inner spiritual joy, but one that can be felt in a prison, a concentration camp, a bombing, a war, an oppression, etc. It’s a very real freedom and an outcry against evil and its servants.

Isaiah 35 is a result of that Word made Flesh. All through Chapter 31-34, you see the Word coming. And it is a sword avenging the remnant who wait and wait for God to come set all things to right. That is a picture into Easter. That is the picture of the one who is to come. Combine the idea of the Word coming with Isaiah’s vision of God riding in like a mighty warrior and you can see that Christmas is only the beginning. Jesus life began something drastic. His resurrection change all that was wrong and started the world on the road of making things right again.

What will you do as one who is adopted into the family of this Word?

What is your responsibility where you are?

What is the Word doing in your town, state, country, and world?

Are you ready to live like the Living Word for all to see?