Come, Lord Jesus
In 2 Samuel 7, we read of David, proud of his new cedar palace and grateful for the Lord’s shower of blessings upon him. David was so thankful that he decides to build a cedar house for God—sort of. Actually, David is concerned that the Ark of the Covenant doesn’t have good home. The usually adept Nathan agrees, without consulting God but God retorts with something like “Do I, Almighty God, need a house built by human hands?” God scolded David by asking him if He had asked David’s forefathers or the judges for a tent.
God reminded Nathan and David that He dwelt with His people through their pilgrimage from slavery to the land God had promised them. He had the Israelites to build a tent called the tabernacle—mobile so their sacrifices and worship of God could follow them as they travelled to their new home. God then gave David a much needed reminder: “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel.” (2 Samuel 7:8) These kinds of questions and self-reflections are what Advent are all about—recalling who God is and who we are. The answers come from the Holy Bible, the Word of God, which was written by men who had literally walked and/or talked with God or knew men who had.
Some 400 years before Christ, the prophet Zechariah told of the Christ, and Malachi prophesied of John the Baptist, the last prophet, the one who was to come to prepare the way for the Messiah, the Christ. His message was for his hearers to repent, just as Jesus spent much of His earthly mission. Advent is that time to prepare ourselves in His Word, to continue for Him to make Him known to us so He will not declare to us on Judgment Day, “I never knew you…”
Our thoughts are not His thoughts fellow sinner, sufferer, and yet saint. But God became Flesh to save us. And He did that for all who have faith in Him. Neither has God favored you or me above others nor has He has placed a target on your back.
We all need a place to gather to hear God’s Word, to receive the Sacraments, to be blessed with the forgiveness of our sins. We need to confess, read a psalm, an Old Testament reading, an Epistle (letter) from Paul, Peter, John, or another. And oh, do we need the Gospel! And singing sweet hymns of penitence and praise lifts up our hearts to Him which delights Him as He is our Creator and Redeemer.
If your faith takes you to a brick-and-stone house of God, which holds the Holy Scriptures as holy, where you read of God becoming flesh to save you and others, then you are blessed. God must be with us for us to stay with Him. Perhaps David knew that the faithful heart will not stay that way for long if God is not worshipped. Christianity is not a lone-ranger life because God is not the only one who speaks to us. But God became Man to bring us from empty fields of sin, from following the lost world, to His kingdom. That’s why we say “Merry Christmas”. Gloria Deo—Glory to God