Monday, December 2, 2013

A Song, When Your Present Joy Eludes You

This weekend I was home for Thanksgiving, so for the first day of Advent I was at the church I grew up in. A guest pastor preached this morning, and like most times, God used the unexpected to speak a loud truth into my ears.

The passage wasn’t anything very Adventy (Zephaniah 3:8, 14-20), but the message was a direct call as we enter this expectant season. Zephaniah 3:17 says, 

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

This is one of only two instances in the Bible where we see God singing. I immediately pictured C.S. Lewis’ depiction of creation with Aslan singing Narnia into being (a beautiful thing to behold). The other time God sings is when Jesus sings a hymn with his disciples after the Last Supper.

Reading this verse literally is a comfort and an assurance. However this morning we were encouraged to see it as a metaphor for our life with God. If God is singing, we (His children and creation) are called to be in tune with His harmonies and in time with His rhythms. This is about learning to listen for the strong voices of those who know the Leader well, and about learning to wait—to patiently hear the pauses and rests, which make the song all the more unique and beautiful.

When Israel was under the hand of the Romans (right before God was getting ready to release the most wonderful Song of all), the tune was carried by the Prophets. They were the mouth-pieces of God, revealing His melodies to all creation. They brought messages of hope; encouragement for the waiting.

“When?” cried the people. And the prophets sung in return, “Your God will save you. In His time, He will save you. If you run ahead, you will not hear the Song. Know this and remember this, dear flock, when your present joy eludes you.”


The Apostle John knew this Song, and the Word it contained:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. -John 1: 1-3

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