In this series we’ll reflect on the Advent Scriptures in the Revised Common Lectionary as a way of enabling us to celebrate the birth of Christ.
14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. 18 I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. 19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20 At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord. (Zeph. 3:14-20 ESV)
Zephaniah grants us a glimpse of what life is like when God comes to town–when “The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst.” He pleads with a wishy-washy nation trying to decide whether or not to give their whole hearts to God. He wants them to envision the kind a life they could enjoy in an unhindered relationship with God.
It’s a life of a joy so deep we can’t help humming about God and He can’t help humming about us.
It’s a life free from fear.
It’s a life where those once banished now belong.
It’s a life where all that once seemed ruined is now restored.
Zephaniah’s vision is a peek into the future–when the King of Kings, Jesus, is in our midst. His inspiring words point to the life made possible by the Child we celebrate this time of year.
This is the life Christ has come to give. Why would you choose any other?