Reflection – Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence. (Isaiah 64:1)
Each one of us has probably been moved like Isaiah was in our text. Not only social corruption, chaos, and suffering trouble us; our own weaknesses and sinfulness trouble us. The Lord expects better than what we’ve been giving of ourselves to Him. He is the Almighty, far superior to us. He desires clean hands and pure hearts.
We, like Isaiah, desperately desire God to render the heavens open and come down, as He did in the past. Oh, that He’d change this world’s condition and us; make His name known; raise up the faith of those trusting ones! Oh, that He’d cleanse and renew His people through His compassion and forgiveness!
During Advent, we prepare for the Christ child coming to earth. He comes to forgive us and restore us back to God from everything we have done wrong. We also yearn for Him to take us to His eternal heavenly home of righteousness.
With repentant hearts, we must beseech God to come and rule in our hearts lovingly and righteously. Without the God-given repentance, there’s no seeking of the Saviour; without repentance, we cannot accept how desperately we need Christ crucified. We don’t desire to turn our will over to God. We must repent and have our hearts changed. The Holy Spirit changes us using the powerful words of God, crushing us with His Law, restoring us by the Gospel. Just like Isaiah, we plead: “Saviour, rend the heavens open and come down.”
How sin engulfs our lives and brings us misery! No one calls on God’s name as they should. The people are unclean, defiled, polluted in their hearts and minds, and in need of purification! Our righteous acts are filled with vanity or complaining about keeping His will. What a bleak result! What miserable conditions!
God sends to us His eternal Son who is the substitute of corrupt mankind in God’s just courtroom. He redeems us with His own precious blood and delivers humanity from death. We aren’t cast off, but in Christ become reborn children of God. As we realize the wisdom of God with which He does this, let us admit how unclean, filthy and antagonistic to God’s will we are by nature!
As those who now trust in the Lord, let us follow the prophet, yielding our hearts and souls over to God. He is “our Father,” the one who has been around so much longer than we, who truly knows us best. Our life is from
Him, and He put His name on us by His Word at our Baptism.
God is our “potter.” We are the work of His hands which He cares about. He knows how to fix our brokenness. As clay, we don’t know how to shape our lives or make ourselves into worthy vessels for good and gracious purposes. He observes us and works in us perfectly. He comes down to us by His efficient Word – Holy Scripture.
His Word and Sacraments promise and confirm to us His eternal dwelling with us. John writes in Revelation about the future for all who are faithful to Christ unto death: “… They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Nathan Mntambo, Arcadia