Daily Devotion 07 December 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Colossians 1: 27-28 ‘God’s Mysterious Work with his People’

27 To the saints God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles
are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom,
so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Hope is a very well used word, resting on whether something takes place or happens. This year we have used it or heard it being said even more than usual, as we wait for better news of vaccines, job prospects, family matters, possible Christmas arrangements, etc. Paul in his letter to the Colossians is dreaming dreams about creation. He writes in various styles – as if he was a rabbi, a philosopher, a psychologist, or a satirist. He can speak as a visionary and a poet. What is striking is that he writes with such eager expectation! He speaks as someone who has got something worth telling.

In Advent we wait with an expectation of the coming of Christ. Paul says ‘You must be faithful, on a sure and firm foundation and you must not allow yourself to be shaken from that hope’. God provides all our needs if we use our gifts wisely. All life, yes that is all life, is in union with its creator, bound up and involved – so that we all share in the story which God himself has begun, part of his plan that was being acted out with different characters all playing their part. Each generation, the current one of which we are part, is linked to those who went before and those who will come after us.

So, as a Jew, Paul was expressing a very Jewish idea about the present and the future, because of what God had done in the past. Through the Old Testament, Israel had been declared to be God’s first-born son but now God spoke of Jesus as his child and their closeness, as of a parent for their child. Paul talked of how we are caught up in the world – yes, with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows. We prepare for Christ who lived on earth as one of us, experiencing life as we do. As Isaiah said: “A voice cries out ‘prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord. Fill every valley, level every mountain. The hill will become plain and the rough country will become smooth’ (Isaiah 40:4). Israel had been waiting for its restoration by the Messiah. The child of Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist, was sent as part of God’s plan to prepare the way for Christ’s coming, and we read that he leapt for joy in his mother’s womb when she met Mary.

As we move forward as a congregation and individuals serving the needs of young and old in Eastbourne, we do so with not JUST hope, but firm expectations of what God will do through each of us. For we are each one of us a child of God.

Prayer:
(from a worship book with no author)

Fill us with your yearning, gracious Lord, that we may be a people of joy,
carrying your hope in our hearts for the world.
May your gladness be known to all, and hearts filled with your song. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Matthew Earl.
Image freely available online.

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All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356