Advent: God With Us – God does not sleep

Hymn: I Heard the Bells
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

God is not dead or asleep we wonder where His love is. But He doesn’t always answer us the way we think He will.
Every day, we hunger for food, satisfaction, ease. We mourn for those suffering violence and injustice throughout the world. But what we need isn’t more stuff & time, less war, or better presidents. What we need is God to be with us. We need Immanuel. But as we just read, our sin has made a separation between us and God, and where we left off, there was no one found to intercede.

Isaiah 59:16b-20
Then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
19 So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come like a rushing stream,
which the wind of the LORD drives.
20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.

Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Current Events
Some examples of how He is hearing our prayers:
Thousands of Muslims are Converting to Christianity
ISIS Fighter comes to Christ

Prayer
Ephesians 5:20 says to give thanks in ALL circumstances. This means even in the hard ones: even after Paris (perhaps for how it drew attention to ISIS, causing many more people to learn and speak out about it), and even for ISIS (for how He is working not just in spite of, but even as a result of their wickedness).
Give thanks today, even for the hard things!

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