Sunday of the Week of Advent II
May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his
countenance and come to us.
Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health upon all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth. (Psalm 67)
Although there was a time when the Lord God walked with Adam and Eve, spoke personally with Abraham and Moses, was present with the Israelites in Ark and Temple, there became a perceived distance between God and his children. This was not God’s intention, but as humanity’s disobedience increased, they felt more and more apart from God. And rightly so.
This psalm is a prophecy of the coming of Jesus, as it is a prayer for God to be merciful and bless us with his presence, sending the light of his countenance to us and all humankind. The prayer is, “God, come to us!” And God came in Jesus.
No wonder one of the most beloved verses in Scripture is, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, if you don’t know it.) In Jesus, God became flesh to dwell with us — to live with us — to “pitch his tent with us,” as some translate it. “In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)
In this psalm, the people were praying that God would come and bring light. And God, incarnate in Jesus, is that light — which is life. And don’t we need that light in our world today? As we continue to live in a dark and crooked generation, God has come to us! One of the prophecies of the coming Messiah in Isaiah is in 60:1, where the prophet declares, “Arise, shine, for your light has come…” The good news of Christmas is that our Light has come, and it is now time for us to arise and shine — to share Christ’s light, that the peoples will praise him and the nations will be glad and sing for joy!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for being light amid the darkness of our world. Amen.
Advent Action: Light a candle in your home today and read John 1-3.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.