December 14 🌟 When God Lives Among Us (Zephaniah 3:14-20)

Read Zephaniah 3:14-20

Hand doing the "OK" motion with sunshine streaming through the open "o"

Oh, what a day that will be when God comes to live among us! He already sent his son, Jesus to do just that all those years ago. That’s what we celebrate in less than two weeks. God incarnate. God lived among us as one of us! Not only was he 100% God, but he was also 100% human.

I know, the math doesn’t add up, but in God’s economy, it makes perfect sense. God can do even more than we can imagine. Our minds can’t even comprehend. It’s with that awe and gratitude I want to make the most of this day, this gift God has given me.

When I saw my husband, Pastor David, had picked this verse for our Advent reflections, I was glad. We don’t spend much time in the book of Zephaniah. In fact, I had to sing the Bible song to figure out where it was in the Old Testament (heaven forbid I look at the table of contents!).

The whole book is only three chapters, so it’s a quick read. If you want to read the whole book–be ready for Zephaniah to paint a harsh, maybe even terrifying, picture of how the people in Judah are facing doom. You know how the tone changes in today’s reading to bring hope. It would even make the promise that much more “sweet.”

“Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,” is what I would do knowing God was living among us! While the disciples had Jesus, we can have the Holy Spirit living within us now! We can call on the Spirit anytime. We can ask to be filled. We can ask to be given wisdom. We can ask for peace.

What a beautiful promise these words are. “He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness.” Jesus will delight in me? That is surely comforting, isn’t it?

I loved how this reading came to an abrupt halt with the words, “I, the LORD, have spoken!” If there was any doubt that Zephaniah spoke for God, it was like God put several exclamation points at the end of these words of hope. Would they be enough to change the hearts of those with hardened hearts?

Zephaniah was writing to people who may have been indifferent to God. Even though there were God-fearing people among those living in Judah, few were sorrowful for their sins. They were prosperous and felt no need for God’s provision. God’s requests for repentance fell on deaf ears as irrelevant. Their devotion was more self-centered rather than God-centered.

Sound familiar? A little frightening, isn’t it? The human condition is constant. We’re sinful. We need a Savior. Jesus came to show us the way, and now he’s coming back to take us the rest of the way home. “On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again.” Until that day, we can be present with the Spirit of God who lives among us!

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray. Father God, thank you that you live among your people. I am so dependent on you for provision, you are certainly the most important thing in my life. Right now, I feel like a wave of distraction is forcing its way into my life. Help me keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and trust his ways as a blueprint for what I should be doing in my life. Help me to glorify you in all I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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