As Christ’s arrival draws closer, a natural consequence is joy. When the thing we have been waiting for gets closer and closer, joy increases.
When I was a boy, my dad was in the Navy. There were times he was away from home for months. We wrote letters—there was no email then—to keep in touch. If he was in port, he would call us. But as the day of his homecoming drew closer, our whole family grew excited. The joy started before he came home, when months turned to weeks, weeks turned to days, and days turned to hours.
Joy is a natural part of anticipating Christ’s return as we consider what he has accomplished for us and what he will accomplish for us. Our Savior lives! Our King is returning! And he will take us home.
Here is Wednesday’s reading:
Isaiah 64:1–4, 8–11
Would that you would tear the heavens and come down;
the mountains would quake before you,
as fire kindles brushwood,
the fire causes water to boil,
to make your name known to your adversaries,
that the nations might tremble from your presence.
When you did terrible deeds which we did not expect, you came down;
the mountains quaked because of your presence.
And since ancient times they have not heard,
have not listened,
no eye has seen a God except you;
he acts for the one who waits for him …
Yet now Yahweh, you are our father;
we are the clay and you are our potter,
and we all are the work of your hand.
You must not be exceedingly angry, Yahweh,
and you must not remember iniquity forever!
Look! Behold, now! We all are your people!
Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
Zion has become a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and beautiful temple,
where our ancestors praised you
has been burned by fire,
and all our precious objects have become ruins.
Who is “you” in Isaiah 64:1–4?
Response: “You” is the Lord (Yahweh).
What is he being asked to do? And why?
Response: He is being asked to come down from heaven and intercede for his people, to frighten their enemies so that they, too, will respect the God of Israel.
How does this relate to joy during the Advent season?
Response: The coming of the Lord—and, in this case, his intercession on their behalf—brings joy to his people.