The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain;
A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow,
[And] refined, aged wine.
And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.
He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.
And it will be said in that day,
"Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us.
This is the LORD for whom we have waited;
Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."
Isaiah 25:6-9 (NASB)
Hymn: "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" Charles Wesley, Rowland H. Prichard, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Why do we do Advent? To dwell on the waiting of Israel and our waiting for the return of Christ. But why should we dwell on waiting?
There is a certain degree to which we cannot spend all our time waiting. If we only look forward, if we only ponder the future, if we only consider what God has yet to do, we will never be able to appreciate what God has already done and the period in which we already live. We have salvation, a sure heritage in Christ, and we should spend time celebrating that and giving glory to God for His mighty works and faithful deliverance.
We wait so that we can give praise more earnestly. We appreciate that which is coming more when we experience a period of anticipation. And we are really in that period, because death is still among us, sin is still in our bodies, we still have days of trouble. Advent is a period of honesty about the hope that is yet to come, that allows our worship to be more honest as we see what we have received and the assurance that the long-awaited hope is coming and will come. Do not speed through this season, or ignore it, or treat it lightly. Honestly dwell on the anticipation, let yourself feel the fullness of waiting for our final deliverance, and let that guide your praise in the new year.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation