Sunday, Dec. 11 – Scott Pitts

11 Dec

Week 3: Joy
Today’s Scripture:
Isaiah 13:6-13
Hebrews 12:14-29

Till I was about 8 years old, I almost never got candy. Gum was just about unheard of in our house. If given candy, I would have a piece and the rest would mysteriously disappear. In kindergarten I learned to trade most of my lunch away just to get other kids’ desserts. I was so desperate at times, even the minty toothpaste we used seemed like a treat to me – mmmmm.

But, come December 1st that would all change. On that first day of December a beautiful banner was put up by my mom that hung on the wall. On it were 24 rings, each one holding 2 pieces of candy. Every day between December 1 and Christmas, my sister and I would get that piece of candy. I was always full of excitement as if I was about to obtain some rare treasure. The candy was great, but what made it even sweeter was that it was leading to something even greater… Christmas morning. This was advent to me. I don’t think I fully realized the meaning of the season of Advent, but I knew there was something wonderful we were waiting for… a great expectation for the coming days.

The aspect of Joy in the advent season is such an interesting concept to think about. To have joy in something you must have some knowledge or understanding of that object. What was the joy to be for those shepherds in the fields of seeing a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger? Was the joy in seeing a baby? No, it was in knowing that the Messiah was born. They had seeds of joyful expectation that were about to germinate in hearing this angelic message and seeing this little infant. They had just received their first piece of candy and oh how joyful that would be. They had been waiting a long time for this and now it was here. The more they knew about God’s plan for them and the world, the more joyful they could be in seeing it begin to unfold before their eyes. It was like they were pulling at the first taped seam of wrapping paper. But would they be pleased with this gift once it was revealed?

Now as we sit here about 2000 years later, what can we say about advent? A few thoughts:

–The more we know of that first advent and all that was being fulfilled at that time, the more we can join into the joy of the shepherds.
–The joy of when someone turns to the Lord Jesus for the first time is an advent we can rejoice over.
–The first advent did not at all meet the expectation of most of those who were longing for it. I wonder when Jesus returns in his second advent if expectations will be blown out of the water again? In many ways, I hope so and rejoice.
–Just as the candy was sweet and a wonderful “down payment” to even better things to come, may we have joyful expectation for the fullness of the advent season as it also reminds us of our inheritance kept in Heaven for us.

I Peter 1.3-5, “By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Ephesians 1.13-14, “In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.”



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