Read these two passages of scripture, the first from Isaiah and the second from Jesus’ teaching as recorded by Luke.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:1-5 NIV
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” – Luke 11:1-4 ESV
In the words of Isaiah, we hear the hopeful cry of God’s people waiting on their King. In the birth of Jesus, and as we celebrate this advent season, we rejoice because the King has come! And as we continue to pray like Jesus taught the disciples to, we call for the kingdom to come and break through remaining darkness. In struggle and in joy, we obediently trust Christ and believe Him when He says that we can ask for the intimate nearness of the kingdom. Our God, our Savior, and our greatest Love is never far away.
This Christmas weekend, meditate on the closeness of Emmanuel:
The King has come, the King is HERE, the King is coming again. Hallelujah.