category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 1

Sunday, November 28

Jeremiah 33:14–16; Psalm 25:1–10; Luke 21:25–36

Advent begins today! Thank God! It could not come soon enough for most of us. We have needed some good news for quite some time now. So, leave it to
God to do something special at just the right time, in just the right way, and with just the right person.

We don’t have to be students of history to notice that life has a way of getting out of control. Things can spoil rather quickly. Situations can suddenly change, intentionally or unintentionally. We can lose our grip more easily than we can get it. Blame who we will,
or blame no one at all, the upsets in life happen, and they are real.  

Long before we needed help and encouragement today, the people of God found themselves struggling under the power of foreign invaders. The Babylonians had arrived like the plague. They destroyed Jerusalem’s Temple. They sacked the Holy City. They ravaged the land. After a march of more than five hundred miles (nine hundred miles if they avoided the desert), God’s people endured cruel treatment during this hostile takeover. The prophet tells all in the earlier chapters leading up to Jeremiah 33:14–16.

Then comes the good news that God “will fulfill the promise” (v. 14) made to Israel and Judah. The divided kingdoms of north and south (Israel and Judah), the self-inflicted division that occurred when brothers refused to get along, will soon be mended. Justice, righteousness, salvation, and security are on the way.
A “righteous Branch” (v. 15) will spring forth. He will bring good news and make things right.

That’s what we need this Advent—a truth-teller to dispel the misinformation that spreads like wildfire through the nation, at school, in church, or in the family. We need restoration from the One who knows us best and who knows what is best for us. That’s Advent this year—the arrival of a “righteous Branch.” We know him to be Jesus. That’s what I need. He’s Who I need. Maybe you too?

The Psalmist (25:11) sets the stage for us. “Pardon my guilt,” he says. And Jesus sums it up with his own words, “watch at all times, praying … ” (Luke 21:36). These three voices provide the answer that we seek.

Now, finally, we have the ingredients for an Advent that we have needed for years. I invite you to join me in turning the pages of this little booklet each day to see how God will use the “righteous Branch,” Jesus, to bring us more hope, more joy, and more peace.

Robert W. Canoy
Dean of School of Divinity and Professor of Theology

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