category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 18

Wednesday, December 16

Malachi 3:16–4:6; Mark 9:9–13

In Mark 9, it is observed that the prophesy in Malachi 3:16–4:6 has just been fulfilled. Both Elijah and Moses have just appeared up on the mountain with Jesus, Peter, James, and John in a moment known as the Transfiguration. In a conversation walking down from the mountain with Peter, James, and John, Jesus makes the statement in Mark 9:12–13: “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

It was in these moments that the time had come for the Son of Man to soon suffer and be sacrificed on behalf of all sinful humanity. This specific interaction with Jesus was an opportunity for Peter, James, and John to gain a greater understanding as to all God was unveiling before them.

Similarly, we too have all experienced a year full of opportunities to gain greater clarity as to God’s desire of bringing the fullness of His hope, peace, joy and love. “How so?” you may ask. It is in these days that many luxuries, relationships, and normalcies have seemed to be stripped from our control. May I challenge us to consider that losing control of these normalcies has provided us with an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the heart of God. Almighty God ultimately desires for us to relinquish all control over to God’s–self. This year, in many ways, you and I have not had a choice as to whether or not to give up control of our lives. What a gift. What an opportunity. What a time it has been to gain a greater understanding of the heart of God, through letting go of what has been comfortable, and truly trusting in the hope, peace, joy, and love of God.

I do not say these things without acknowledging the hurt, pain and suffering the world has experienced in 2020. Many of us have found ourselves in a season of brokenness. May I gently remind us of the truth found in Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” We can rest assured that even in the most broken of situations, God is providing much opportunity for us to experience His everlasting hope, peace, joy, and love. This Advent season, may we know that God has drawn intimately close to us in our brokenness, pain, and suffering. Where God has drawn near, there is a never–ending abundance of hope, peace, joy, and love. Therefore, at the end of an unprecedented year, may we consider this Advent season as a divine opportunity better to understand and display God’s hope, peace, joy, and love.

Austin Tibbetts
School of Divinity Student

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Advent Reflection: Day 19

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Advent Reflection: Day 17

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