* This post is part of an Advent devotional being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here.
Wednesday: 3 December
Read: Isaiah 4:2-6
(Light a candle)
Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken describes in wistful terms how each choice we make and each way we take leads to another way, so that it is impossible to go back and start our journeys over. Through a mixture of not doing what we should do and then doing what we should not do, we find ourselves entangled in broken relationships with each other and estranged from God.
Its that distance from God that is perhaps most troubling. Like a child enamored by the toys on an end cap and then the games down the aisle, and then the gadgets around the corner, and then the gaming console over a couple rows, we have followed the “and thens” of life to places we never intended to go. Though we casually, naively, and perhaps a bit distractedly walked away from God, we suddenly find ourselves so far removed that we no longer know how to get back. And even if we did somehow manage to reconnect with God, we wonder if we’ve wandered too far or too long for God to welcome us back home again.
Yet God’s assurance in this passage and in this Advent season is that when we wandered away, God set out to find us. Even in those moments where we purposefully hid ourselves from God in shame that we have disappointed God too many times with sins too great for God to ignore, God pursued us. As the Apostle Paul wrote to some of the early Christians, “While were still sinners, Christ died for us.” During the whole time we have been wandering – whether by happenstance or deliberate choices we’ve made – God has been at work, making a way for us to be at home with God. In this season, we are reminded through Jesus Christ’s birth that God has been at work washing away our sins long before we recognized how our sins were accumulating on us and in us. Even more, we hear through this passage God’s desire to lead us by day and by night no matter how distant we feel we are from God. God longs to wrap his arms around us, to be our refuge and our hiding place. Take hope, for in Jesus Christ God has made a way for us to come home, even before we realized how far we had wandered away. God will light our way.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that the light of your life may fill us with the living hope that our sins will be no more. Amen.