A Montrose Church Advent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Advent Day 20: We Live By Faith
Today's reading: Hebrews 10:32-39
The United Methodist Church has a wonderful and descriptive overview of Advent. One of its websites has this statement:
During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation, and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming (umc.org).
Followers of Jesus live in the in-between-times. The past informs us. The future instills us with hope. The present is the journey of faith, a living response to amazing grace of Almighty God.
In these troubling times when the world is filled with uncertainty, anger, war, and lust for power, money and sex, those of us who believe in Jesus live by a divine calling. "We are… of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul" (v. 39). When the world can't seem to hold itself together, we open our hearts fully and embrace the "confidence" (v. 35) we have in Jesus. Make no mistake about it, our faith is always under attack. We haven't arrived and we're still on the journey home, but even in our weakness our faith is loud and clear:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
- Robert Robinson, 1758
May God continue to amaze us and enable us to live today in the His outpoured love. As Augustine prayed in his Confessions, "You called, shouted, broke through my deafness; you flared, blazed, banished my blindness; you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned for your peace."