Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bethany Bullet - December 6, 2011

PK’s Twitter post on 12/1 was…








That is what Advent is about, on the one hand - waiting and proclaiming that Jesus is coming soon; on the other hand - the advent of the prophet Isaiah reminds us that while we wait we are also called to ‘Repent and Reflect.’

Isaiah 40:1-11

Repentance: Exile is what you deserve.

I confess exile is what I deserve and I’m not just talk ‘bout time served under Xerxes but eternity in Hades. Our sin is the same as that of Jerusalem’s years ago, for sin, all sin, is rebellion from God. Each trespass is an affront to His Lordship and a breach of our relationship with the LORD as our King. If that isn’t enough our very natures read like the pages of the Old Testament; over and over again we prove that we are prone to disobey God, wander from His way, and then complain that things aren’t perfect. We blame Him when the consequences of our transgressions are severe. Yet, though we ought to be exiled God pardons us twice over.

Reflection: You’ve been pardoned twice over.

The scales don’t just tip in favor of forgiveness, Jesus’ righteousness and mercy are so abounding that it hurls your guilt heavenward like a feather; not only our guilt but objectively that of the world and subjectively that of all those who call on the name of the Lord.

This is why Isaiah’s message is one of comfort! Yet, I wonder how many of us are still languishing under a load of guilt as if it is too great for God to lift?

Why do we continually claim as our own past peccadilloes (i.e. a sin or offense; a fault.) that God has already pitched as far as pole is from pole? I also wonder how often we simply refuse to let God grant forgiveness to those whose sins against us are first and foremost against Him?

This Advent we discover that, like God’s prophet, God’s people have been called to bring a message of COMFORT from sin’s guilt not CONFINMENT in the guilt of sin. The former leads to repentance the later prohibits it; the former affirms that we have no more to offer God than withered grass and fallen flowers and thus highlights the glory of His gracious acts in Christ, while the later alludes to a notion that we can somehow earn God’s grace or deserve it and thus diminishes the Advent of our God.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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