Going Deeper 12/18/18

The first reading for Advent 4...
Micah 5:2-5a   But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.  Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel.  And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.  And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

I must admit I am weary.  In my reading through the Bible guided by The Bible Project, I am in the middle of Ezekiel, a very depressing and exhausting prophetic condemnation of Judah and Jerusalem, which has come on the heels of depressing and exhausting condemnation from the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations.  There is a lot of very nasty stuff in this section of the Bible, and I am worn out from reading it day after day.

It's kind of like turning on the news and hearing the same depressing stories day after day.  Conflict, violence, storms, political intrigue, etc, etc.  It wears me out. 

So it feels good to hear this message of hope from the prophet Micah (link below to video on Micah), a message we hear every year during Advent because of its messianic prophecy.  And it becomes clear that this is all real life stuff.   Sin has wreaked havoc on God's creation.  I see its impact within me and all around me, and sometimes it wears me out.

And then along comes the Gospel, the very good news of our salvation, the truth that we are beloved and have been rescued from the eternal consequences of sin and set free to be used by God as lights in the darkness.   After all, it is almost Christmas!  The Messiah, the "the one of peace", came-- and the Christ continues to come-- to rescue us from the darkness of sin and death.  Amazing grace shatters the gloom and doom!

It is so very important to light candles and not just simply curse the darkness!  I feel better now😌.

With You in His Light,
Mark

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