Monday, December 26, 2022
Rev. Sela Finau
Look Forward by Looking Back
Scripture: Isaiah 9:1-7 (NRSV) But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Devotion: During the season of Advent, we have been preparing. We have been getting ready because we believe Jesus’ coming is a big deal. We look back to look forward. We look back to the birth of Jesus to remind us that Immanuel has been born unto us. But we also look forward to the day when he comes again.
The season of Advent leading into Christmas is not always a happy season for everyone. It brings up deep emotions as we remember the past, the family we wish we had, or our economic stress. We remember the ones who are no longer with us in person. Grief is like journeying forward through our rearview mirror, with the ones departed at focus until, eventually, we can focus on what’s up ahead. It’s not that we forget the past; instead, it’s allowing the past to inform our future. It’s about remembering our history and the people that have shaped us into the people we are today and the person we are becoming.
Prayer: Dear God, We thank you that you were there in the beginning, present today, and will be there tomorrow. Amen.