Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peace=Highway. The final chapter.

Promises of Israel’s Restoration

Isaiah 49:8 This is what the Lord says:

“At just the right time, I will respond to you.[a]

On the day of salvation I will help you.

I will protect you and give you to the people

as my covenant with them.

Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel

and assign it to its own people again.

9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’

and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’

They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures

and on hills that were previously bare.

10 They will neither hunger nor thirst.

The searing sun will not reach them anymore.

For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;

he will lead them beside cool waters.

11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.

The highways will be raised above the valleys.

12 See, my people will return from far away,

from lands to the north and west,

and from as far south as Egypt.[b]”

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus Christ

1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, tothe city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in  the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And  this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby  wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13And suddenly there was with the angel  a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God  in the highest,
 and on earth  peace among those with whom he is pleased

Since moving here we have visited four different churches. Each are doing some form of Advent. Advent is simply the celebration of the coming of Jesus as a baby and the celebration that He has promised he will return. God has been working on a lesson for me. He has been teaching me little bits of a sweet promise that changes everything. The first part being the Jesus brought Peace. The angels said so. They told the shepherds that Peace had come to those God was please with, or in other translations "who find favour in Him." A tiny baby born in a manger would bring peace. The lesson God is teaching me? Peace is not what I've expected. Not what I've looked for. Peace is not the mountain top high I've come to believe in. Church retreats are great, but really confusing. I've had some amazing intimate times with my Lord in the mountains. Moments I thought were peace. Then you come home and life is as hard as it ever was. I've had amazing joys in this life, but they always seem to be followed by somthing not so joyful.  Isaiah gave his message to the people. A broken people who had lost favor with God. That although broken and lost, one day they would be restored. This restoration?
Isaiah 49: 11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.The highways will be raised above the valleys.
 God didn't promise a high! This is so refreshing to me. After so long of the ups and downs I dont look forward to {highs} anymore because once you reach the top there is only one place to go. {LOW} I long for quiet. I long for a flat surface. I long for tomorow to be like today. I long to walk towards my father, not climb and fall. And guess what? He promises just that. The mountains lowered. The valleys raised up. A highway made. A highway for what? For us to return to Him. Isaiah 49: 12 12 See, my people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west and from as far south as Egypt.

This Christmas I celebrate the highway. I celebrate that God knows our lives are mountains and valleys and that he gave us Jesus. He gave us salvation and a permanent flat surface to walk to him on. A direct way to his mercy. I celebrate that no matter what happens in this life. No matter what Mountain or Valley may come. We have the promise. We have the savior.  Peace= Highway

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