Gracefully Truthful

Adoration,Praise,Prayer,Sing,Song,Waiting,Worship

Read His Words Before Ours!

Isaiah 9:6-7
Isaiah 7:13-14
Matthew 1:18-23
Isaiah 53:1-8
Revelation 22:16

I love to worship.

Worship was built into my ordinary, daily life.
Sitting here, listening to a worship playlist takes me back to those days. 
Lord, where did I fall away? 
When was my worship consigned to church or conferences? 
Let today’s worship be an offering. Let it be a repentance of neglecting the gift of worship. 

I worship You, Almighty God
I worship You, oh Prince of Peace 
There is none like you. 
Let me hold this moment; let me remember it when I am in the middle of an ordinary day.  In my car. Sitting with friends as we talk about You, or in their grief, in their hard things. 

“O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.”

When we sing the classic Christmas hymn O Little Town of Bethlehem, do we realize Bethlehem was an ordinary village?

In fact, Bethlehem was tiny, its population a fraction of Rome’s, or even Jerusalem’s. Yet in a cave, possibly tucked into the lower level of a home, an ordinary, messy stable for livestock became the birthplace of the Messiah. 

You see, the same God who oversaw the ordination of a seven year-old Judean king (2 Kings 11:21-12:3) and who fulfilled His promises for restoration through small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10), quite often works out His plan in ordinary, mundane spaces. 

Bethlehem Ephrathah, 
you are small among the clans of Judah;
one will come from you
to be ruler over Israel for me.
(Micah 5:2)

Sisters, we are no different. We are ordinary. We are messy.
Often we feel stuck, held captive, in the mundane. 
Held captive by the weights and cares of this world.
Held captive by sins, even small, ordinary ones.

With the birth of Christ that unsuspecting night in Bethlehem, God stepped into the world’s lament, our groaning for rescue and redemption from our captivity. 

“O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.”
(O Come, O Come Emmanuel)

Emmanuel, God with us.
(Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 7:13-14)

God became man in Jesus. 
(John 1:1-3, 14

He knows our sin; He knows our bondage.
He came to ransom and to rescue us from captivity to sin. 

Emmanuel, God with us in the mundane and ordinary, the messy and small.

“O come, o Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in its ways to go.”

The same God who appeared to the Israelite leader,
Moses, on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20)
to give Israel the Law of God
is also Jesus Christ,
God incarnate,
the very fulfillment of that Law. (Matthew 5:17)  
He never changes. (Hebrews 13:8)

Today, we gain knowledge and wisdom by immersing ourselves in God’s word and learning from the Holy Spirit:

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.(James 1:5

Emmanuel, our wisdom in the mundane and ordinary, the messy and small.

“O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto Your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell Your people save,
And give them victory over the grave.”

Oppressed again and again, the people of Israel longed for Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts, to rescue them. Yet, God’s children were ultimately enslaved not by Assyria, Babylon, or Rome, but by their own sins. Like every other person on earth, throughout all of time, they (and we!) desperately need rescue from the tyranny of sin and death.  

Jesus is the Only One who can redeem and rescue us from the oppression of sin and death. (Romans 11:26-27) His death paid our ransom from hell and the grave. (Isaiah 53:1-8)

Emmanuel,
Our deliverer,
Our rescuer, and
Our redeemer

in the mundane and ordinary, in the small and messy.

Hallelujah!

My sister, are you feeling tossed about? Scattered? In turmoil?
In our full days of meetings, carpool lanes, laundry, and homework, we can feel trapped. 
We can feel mundane and ordinary, small and messy.

As we hush our souls in this advent season, let us turn to  our Emmanuel,
an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)

In the midst of our mundane and ordinary, 
our small and messy,
we can worship Jehovah Shalom, the Prince of Peace (John 14:27);
we can worship our deliverer, our wisdom, our Emmanuel, God with us.

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adore,Christmas,hope,Ordinary,sing,worship
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