For our final Sunday of Advent, let us worship the Lord’s loyal love for us.
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 Common English Bible (CEB)
A maskil[a] of Ethan the Ezrahite.
89 I will sing of the Lord’s loyal love forever.
I will proclaim your faithfulness
with my own mouth
from one generation to the next.
2 That’s why I say,
Your[b] loyal love is rightly built forever!
You establish your faithfulness in heaven.
3 You said,[c] “I made a covenant with my chosen one;
I promised my servant David:
4 I will establish your offspring forever;
I will build up your throne from one generation to the next?” Selah
19 Once you spoke in a vision
to your faithful servants:
I placed a crown on a strong man.
I raised up someone specially chosen from the people.
20 I discovered my servant David.
I anointed him with my holy oil.
21 My hand will sustain him,
yes, my arm will strengthen him!
22 No enemy will oppress him;
no wicked person will make him suffer.
23 I will crush all his foes in front of him.
I will strike down all those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and my loyal love will be with him.
He will be strengthened by my name.
25 I will set his hand on the sea.
I will set his strong hand on the rivers.
26 He will cry out to me:
“You are my father,
my God, the rock of my salvation.”
- Does your deepest longing point to home?
- Where have you been settling for a cheap imitation longing instead of finding your home in Him?
- What do you need to let go to go home?
Romans 16:25-27 Common English Bible (CEB)
25 May the glory be to God who can strengthen you with my good news and the message that I preach about Jesus Christ. He can strengthen you with the announcement of the secret[a] that was kept quiet for a long time. 26 Now that secret is revealed through what the prophets wrote. It is made known to the Gentiles[b] in order to lead to their faithful obedience based on the command of the eternal God. 27 May the glory be to God, who alone is wise! May the glory be to him through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.
The Secret is about to be revealed
Through this precious Advent season, we’ve journeyed through themes of hope, peace, and joy. We’ve paradoxically come to see hope increases as we’ve learned to admit our poverty. We’ve embraced peace more as we’ve resolved to surrender. And we’ve discovered joy more as we’ve identified with the joylessly persecuted.
And now we turn our hearts to our final theme of love.
Love is the secret
Love is the great secret Paul is writing about. Love is the good news. Love shows up in our poverty, surrender and suffering. Love shows up unexpectedly. Love shows up and makes its home among us.
John 1:14 Common English Bible (CEB)
14 The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
This Love, this Word, this Jesus, was with God from the beginning (John 1:2).
And He makes his home among us!
This is what we truly long for. This is what we?ve been waiting for. This is why we embrace our weakness and poverty, this is why we endure our suffering.
Jesus is with us through it all.
God’s glory on full display
God?s glory is on full display and we have seen it. John says it’s “glory like that of a father’s son.”
We see God glory most in Jesus. Remember, Jesus was with God from the beginning and is the fullness of God.
Oh, how can we even begin to imagine it!
All the might, strength, love, light, majesty, omniscience, creativity, truth, and on and on we could go with words that never quite capture God’s magnificence, all of that power, released, to come as a mere babe in a manger.
The nativity reveals God’s glory just as much as the cross.
Glory becomes visible
The Word, Jesus, set aside all the might and power of God, and made His home among us.
This is how we see His glory. This is how we touch God’s glory. This is how we experience God’s glory. This is how we express God’s glory.
God?s glory is revealed through His self-sacrifice. God’s glory is multiplied through our self-sacrifice.
We see His glory as a babe in a manger. Accessible. Innocent. Free. Pure. Life.
We touch God’s glory like Thomas with our finger. Accessible. Innocent but willing to die. Bringing freedom. Purifying. Eternal life.
We experience God’s glory as He takes up His home in us. Accessible. Returning us to innocence. Freeing. Healing and bringing purity. Life itself in us.
And we express God’s glory as we follow Him and lay down our lives for others. He becomes accessible. Reminds us all of our innocent creation before time. Announcing Freedom. Bringing purity. Multiplying eternal life.
Our hearts long most for God’s glory. God’s glory has camped out among us. His glory is not some esoteric, far-off, impersonal, abstract, conceptual, inaccessible thing.
God’s glory can be found lying trustingly and dependently in straw; is sought after by dirty shepherds and all the wrong people; though innocent, assumes guilt; though free, willingly enfleshes; though pure, absorbs the impure; though eternally alive, dies.
God’s glory is to give up His divinity to take on our humanity so that we can go home.
- What do you most long for?
- How will you respond to the secret being revealed this Christmas?
Pray that God reveal His glory to others as you sacrifice on their behalf.
A Closing Prayer
I confess I’ve hidden from you by keeping your glory as some abstract concept. I know, Lord, you don’t desire empty words. You don’t desire me to proclaim your glory, mindlessly repeating the word ‘glory’ without experiencing it relationally. Lord, this is why you came on Christmas. Lord, help me to see you in your full glory as you come as a babe.
- This evening, continue again to worship through Psalm 80:3 as a personal prayer.
- Tomorrow morning, consider reading through the Christmas story as a family.
Scriptures from Our Advent Series
Texts for First Advent Week: Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
Texts for Second Advent Week: Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Mark 1:1-8
Texts for Third Advent Week: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; Luke 1:46b-55; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28
Texts for Fourth Advent Week: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38