Sunday, Dec. 16 – Eddie Stepp

16 Dec

Sunday, Dec. 16 – JOY

Today’s Scripture:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 3:1-6

Isaiah 35 bubbles forth with the theme of joy. And what is the cause for all the rejoicing? It is that God is coming to save his people. As a result of God’s salvation, people will be made whole. A highway will be available for the rescued to make their way to the holy city where “gladness and joy will overtake them.” Luke 3 picks up on the salvation idea, quoting Isaiah’s promise that all people will see the salvation of God. What Isaiah anticipates, Luke sees fulfilled in the coming of Jesus.  He is the one who brings God’s salvation to the world.

“Saved” is a great word.  While the parody of a southern preacher who turns this wonderful word into a four syllable end-all-be-all of the Christian life comes to mind, nevertheless, I love the word and its rich theological meaning. Saved implies that there is something to be saved FROM (forgive the bad grammar) – darkness, loneliness, isolation, selfishness, and death.  Saved implies that there is something to be saved FOR – purpose, life together, holiness, and the rule in our hearts of King Jesus which brings life.  Saved implies that there is SOMEONE who does the saving.  Because of Jesus, we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved, but make no mistake, Jesus does the saving, not us.

Is it any wonder then that Isaiah celebrates the prospects of God’s saving activity with joy? For those of us who have experienced God’s great salvation in Jesus, we have a great cause for joy as well.  So as we wait and anticipate the birth of the One who saves, let’s wait with joy!

-ES

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