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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Two Words For All Who Wait: “Has” and “Will.”

Luke 1:57-80    Ezekiel 35-36    Isaiah 59

“We wait for light, and lo! there is darkness” (Isaiah 59:9). Waiting for light. Groping in the dark “like those who have no eyes” (v.10). There are those seasons, are there not? When “justice is far from us” and, like Zechariah, we are rendered incapable of speech or explanation . . . What are we to make of  such times of waiting in the darkness and sitting in the shadows (Luke 1:79)? Are they, as we often conclude, proofs that “the Lord’s hand is too short to save” (Isaiah 59:1)? Or are there other reasons for seasons of waiting for the “dawn from on high” to “break upon us” (Luke 1:78)? What might you and I learn about waiting on this Christmas Eve? And where, should we be waiting in darkness this season, might the light of God our “Redeemer” and “Mighty Savior” be found?

“He has looked favorably upon his people and redeemed them” (Luke 1:68). So sings Zechariah as he blesses God with a freed tongue on the occasion of his son’s birth. “Has,” says he. “Has looked favorably” . . . “and redeemed.” God “has raised up a mighty savior” (v.69) and “has shown the mercy promised” (v.72). God has taken action and, in the words of the prophet, “his own arm brought him victory”  (Isaiah 59:16).  “Has.” And “Will.” The dawn “will break upon us” (v.78) and “he will come to Zion as Redeemer” (Isaiah 59:20). And between the “has” and the “will” lies the waiting, as the story of salvation is still being told. Not because God is impotent or deaf, but because God, who is love both fierce and tender (Isaiah 59:16ff; Luke 1:78), is in the process of persistently overcoming our barriers of resistance and unbelief (Isaiah 59:2; Ezekiel 36:26; Luke 1:20).

“I will put my spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:27). And in this way light comes. God with us, entering into our world. “Veiled in flesh the God-head see!” God within us, breaching our barriers and giving us a new heart and spirit (v.26). Christ in us, the hope of glory!  . . . Christmas is an inside job.  “Lord Jesus Christ, your light shines within us.” Beloved, are you waiting? Hear the song of celebration and anticipation: God HAS broken through and God WILL break through. The dawn comes. “Let every heart prepare him room!” Amen.

“By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
— Luke 1:78,79

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