Advent Journal: Day 19


Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Zephaniah 3:14-18

Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Luke 1:39-45

How long did Israel believe that a king would come to redeem her?  Five hundred, a thousand years? I suppose five hundred, if we reckon from the Babylonian exile.  To await a protector,  a redeemer, someone who will take away all the pains and humiliations that we have suffered, put them right in the end–who has not wished for this?  Who has not suffered in vain, awaiting such a redeemer to come?  How can in one person exist the bitterness, the disappointment, the sense of betrayal, and yet–still hope? It is not a defense mechanism; we can easily kill our selves, or go on living as if dead.  I did so for many years, before I was called into the Church.  The traditional answer must be the one, for I can find no other:  to manifest his glory.  The king who would save Israel came from a virgin daughter of Zion, and God raises up life from death, hope from despair.  It is enough.  The hour grows late.  The king is coming. Let us prepare him a place in our hearts.  Let us await our salvation with conviction, and anticipation:  for now, now is the hour when we shall begin our long journey, from the slavery of sin, death, and despair, to the life giving light that is Christ our God.  Amen.

~ by Alypius on December 22, 2017.

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