Sundays – First Service 8:45a | Formation Hour 10:10a | Second Service 11:15a

Advent Reflections


Waiting, Remembering, Adoring
by Lauren Surber

December 24: AM Psalm 45, 46; Isaiah 35:1-10; Revelation 22:12-17,21; Luke 1:67-80

On a cold night in the desert, the nation of Israel waits as it has for 400 years. The Hebrew people cry out, echoing the words of Isaiah:

“Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.”

They have been speaking this prayer since the prophet of Malachi, and for four centuries, they have heard nothing from their silent God.

But one Hebrew, a teenage girl weary from travel, knows that her God is not silent. He had sent an angel to speak to her nine months ago. By divine grace, she will be the mother of the Messiah. And now she knows it is almost time to meet her baby, but she, like the rest of the world, must wait.

By this time tomorrow, God will have entered the world as a precious baby. He will be alive – eating, breathing, growing – so that one day He can rescue His children. Zachariah already sings, “Praise to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”

But who will know? Mary and Joseph, certainly. Elizabeth and Zachariah, too – they saw God speak through the birth of their newborn son, John. The angels will know, and a shepherd, and three kings from far away will come to see the Son of God. Others will learn in time, but many people, many nations, will still mourn the way they always have:

“Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.”

On this night as we wait to celebrate the birth of our Redeemer, we wait with praise and thanksgiving, for we already know the end of the story. God listens. God comes. God dies. God rises. And soon God will come again. We wait and remember, but we already know.

May we pray for the people in our world who do not know. The ones who have not heard the name of Jesus spoken to them. The ones who are not eager and who are not celebrating because they have not heard. May we be the angel Gabriel to the lost of the world who are still waiting for their messiah to come. May we bear a message of salvation. May we proclaim the name of Jesus boldly so that tomorrow, the whole earth can celebrate the divine child.