Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Hope of Advent

Tuesday, December 2, 2014[1]
Psalm 76 is a desperate cry for God to act against those who have destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It was a time of great turmoil and danger for those left behind in the exile. God needs to act quickly or no one will be left to worship him.
We could say, “Thank God, that’s not our problem!” We do not face destruction, exile or ridicule in America. So we can safely dismiss this Psalm as reflecting a time long past.

But wait, the plight of Christians in western Iraq has become a concern for the American Church. Fervent prayers for their safety are being offered from pulpits across the nation. Face Book postings are painting a fearsome picture of the situation.

In the face of ultimate desperation, the Psalmist cries to God, “How long will you rage, LORD? Forever? Let your compassion hurry to meet us because we’ve been brought so low.”

Hope is all that is left, hope that God will remember his promise, “We are, after all, your people…” If God will act, the Psalmist promises that the rescued people will respond in faith: “We will give you thanks forever; we will proclaim your praises from one generation to the next.”

That promise is fulfilled in the birth of Jesus some 500 years later. There is hope, hope in Christ.

Where is your hope in times of trouble?

Pastor George Lawton, Retired Local Pastor Serving under Appointment, Lakeside UMC, Lakeside MI, West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church

[1] During this blessed season of Advent we will enjoy together daily devotions which are shared by Local Pastors and Associate Members of the United Methodist Church from around the United States.  I had the privilege of participating in this project, and look forward to sharing these daily uplifting thoughts with you over the season from now (Thanksgiving) to January 1st.  Each author will be identified, and we thank them in advance for each contribution.

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