Bible Society of South Africa

Grace: Once in royal David’s city – 28 November 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

2The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light.

They lived in a land of shadows,

but now light is shining on them.

Isaiah 9:2GNBOpen in Bible reader

2You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.

May grace and peace be yours in full measure.

1 Peter 1:2GNBOpen in Bible reader

Peter’s greeting of blessing was to the persecuted Christians, “scattered throughout (five) provinces”, (1 Peter 1:1) suffering for their faith. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,” (1 Peter 2:9) he further encouraged them, explaining that even in dark times they were still loved by God, set apart to sing His praises.

In South Africa, as we stumble through this time of deep uncertainty, we’re only too conscious of the importance of light, and of our need for it to shine into the difficulties that darkness brings us. Many of us are waiting for a miracle to take place to resolve our energy crisis and would value encouragement.

Yet, we’re not alone; everyone needs light. Let’s not forget the “great light” that Isaiah was talking about here; a light far greater, far beyond human understanding than the energy we use. We all need, “the light of the world” (John 8:12a) exemplified in Jesus, who promised, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” (John 8:12b) despite the physical darkness we live in.

Waiting for something important always has a measure of complexity about it because it either brings nervous anxiety or eager anticipation – sometimes both – which, if not well-managed, can impact negatively on the event. But not Advent.

Advent is actually a celebration of waiting, a time to be savoured as we celebrate the lead up to the most important, long awaited, event of grace in history, the coming “down to earth from heaven” in the person of Jesus, the Messiah, “who is God and Lord of all”; we savour every significant detail and then rejoice!

At this special time of the year we feel that air of expectancy which builds up progressively each week, going far beyond the tinsel and the baubles; most importantly, it’s a time to prepare spiritually for Christmas and the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, as a baby “in a manger for his bed” in Bethlehem.

During the four weeks leading up to Christmas let us pause, each week, to light the candle and sing carols with others, and use this special time for meditating on the light Jesus brought into the world, changing it forever. Each week let us consider these elements that He left us all: hope, peace, love and joy.

May “Grace and peace be (ours) in abundance.”

Prayer: All highest, glorious God, (this Advent) cast your light into the darkness of my heart, give me right faith, firm hope, perfect love and profound humility, with wisdom, and perception, O Lord, that I may do what is truly your holy will. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
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