I saved my second favorite Christmas carol until the last day, the 12th Day of Christmas Carols & Scripture. For me, the song’s message is not just for Christmas. It evokes the kind of praise we should have all year long. Many of us are certainly ready to receive our King when he comes again! In the meantime, as we find ourselves in the day to day grind, how do we keep our praise alive?
Joy to the world! the Lord is come; let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
I was just thinking today about how many things had to fall into place to put Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem at the right time. When Micah declared these words, did he realize he was predicting the birthplace of the Messiah hundreds of years later? What a marvelous orchestrator God is! How can we ever doubt him!
The promised eternal king in David’s line would come to live as a man. He will “stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” This prophecy was referred to by Herod’s advisors when he was greeted by the wise men of the east after Jesus’ birth. This small, obscure little town has made history and will forever have a place on the map!
In our Advent reflections, Matthew now weighs in on the return of Jesus. We’ve read through the accounts of Mark and Luke and noticed some overlap. Here again, there are similar themes. As a disciple, Matthew would have had a front row seat to Jesus’ foretelling.
The news Jesus shared about his return would have certainly been hard to believe. Not because Jesus himself is unbelievable, but because the people hearing would not be used to having people go to and from heaven. Death was usually a one-way street. But Jesus’ death was not final. He rose from the dead and then ascended into heaven. Jesus is alive!
If we were wondering what to look for, Jesus clears it up for us in today’s passage. As we are walking through Advent together, it’s easy to get caught up in the distractions of the Christmas season. Magnificent as Jesus’ birth was, that was only Jesus’ first coming. He is coming again, too!
When he does, he will bring our salvation. At last, we’ll have our ticket to live with God forever, forgiven, and free. It’s the hope we have in this promise that keeps us going when we feel burdened, fearful, or doomed.