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1st Week of Advent
Behold, the Lord will come
descending with splendor to visit his people with peace,
and he will bestow on them eternal life.
Stir up your power, we pray, O Lord, and come,
that with you to protect us,
we may find rescue
from the pressing dangers of our sins,
Daily Meditation: Isaiah 29:17-24
On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book. (Isaiah 29:18)
Picture yourself as a first-century resident of Bethlehem. You’ve heard some amazing gossip lately about the promised Messiah. People are saying that a child has been born in your town, and that he is in fact this Messiah! You go to see the child, and something happens in your heart and mind. You start to believe it could be true. You recall today’s passage from Isaiah, and everything seems to come together. It’s as if your own ears are opened, and you are hearing the words of Scripture for the first time.
Of course, you don’t live in Bethlehem. You live in the modern world, where practically everyone has heard the story of the baby Jesus. Advent comes every year, and it’s easy to go through the motions of getting ready for Christmas. This year, though, you’d like it to be different. You’d like to experience something of what the people of Bethlehem did on that first Christmas Day.
Don’t give up on that desire! It’s God who put it on your heart—just as it’s on his heart! Remember that the Scriptures, as old as they are, were written so that even our hearts could be open to the truth about God’s desire to save his people. Jesus didn’t come to earth so that the world would stay the same. He came to open the ears of the deaf, to restore sight to the blind, and to comfort the lowly in every generation (Isaiah 29:18-19). In other words, he came to heal and save each one of us.
Jesus wants to open your spiritual ears and eyes a little more each day so that you’ll come to know him better. So pray that the Advent readings will fill you with wonder and gratitude for the miracle of Jesus coming among us. As the ears of the deaf were opened to “hear the words of a book” (Isaiah 29:18) pray that the Holy Spirit will open your ears to hear what he is saying to you as you read his word each day.
“Holy Spirit, awaken me this Advent to know and love Jesus more than ever before!”
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14