Today’s faithful daily read is from rom 6:23 and Isaiah 62:1-12.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23)
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.
The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm:
“Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled;
but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD,
and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”
Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.
The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth:
“Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’”
They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted”
This Christmas eve, while festivities and good will break out… While kiddies open presents, and fighting neighbours call a truce, one short sentence in Rom 6 stands over the celebrations— God’s judgement on the world.
Christmas answers that sentence with a saviour. ‘“Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes!’ Isaiah speaks of a people so redeemed and restored that he world would be drawn to her—a holy people.
We often associate this phrase with ‘prepare the way of the Lord‘. Here it is ‘prepare the way for the people‘—build a highway. How do we do that? The Lord has made a new people of God, and the nations are coming! Yesterday I shared a coffee with an Assyrian Christian (Iraq) and a Lebanese Christian I met in the Mall, then shared some precious moments with a Tongan Christian. I think of our friend of faith Thayil visiting his home in India, all the nations represented at KIC and I am mindful of Frank and Kelly from the U.S. The nations are coming just as God promised.
So how do we prepare? Remove the rocks and stones that make the highway hard going for those on their way. We must live holy lives, inviting lives, welcoming lives, open lives, lives by the Spirit.
Tomorrow we fall into what will be for many, a crazy day. Whatever Dec 25 does to your head, remember the sentence, remember your saviour and remember you are God’s highway.