You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isa. 40:9-11
Heavenly Father, on this first Sunday of Advent 2019, we start a fresh journey of relishing how Jesus is the “Yes!” to every promise you have made in the Bible (2 Cor. 1:20). Bring a broad tapestry of Scriptures alive in worship-fueling, heart-encouraging ways—starting today with this remarkable passage from the Prophet Isaiah.
According to Isaiah, the Messiah (Jesus) comes to “gather us in his arms, and carry us close to his heart.” To be tended as vulnerable lambs, held close to his heart, and gently led all the way Home—what more could we possibly desire in this life?
Yet Jesus’ first Advent took him heaven to the cradle to the cross. He who is now our Good Shepherd was first the Lamb of God—bearing our sins, guilt, and shame. Father, in the coming weeks, make the Gospel palpably real and precious to us again. What we need more than anything, a Savior, you have given us. Thank you.
But, as Isaiah notes, Jesus also comes as the Sovereign Lord with his “sleeves rolled up.” He rules over all history and heartaches, emperors and evil. Nothing and no one can sabotage or subvert the Story of redemption and restoration you are unfolding through Jesus. Convince and comfort us during Advent 2019 with this timely and certain hope.
Indeed, the hope of Advent puts all nations on notice. There is only one true King—the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Father, may this heavenly declaration put us face down in adoring love and deep peace,. Humble, center, and gladden our restless hearts. So very Amen we pray, with great anticipation, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.