Advent Reflection: God’s Plan to Heal the World

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This morning, as I was thinking and praying about my next Advent reflection, the news was coming in about the bombing in the subway tunnels of Midtown Manhattan. Thankfully, there were only a few minor injuries and the bomber was caught.

In light of the attack this morning, here are my thoughts on the name “Mighty God.” I will post the missing reflection on “Counselor” later this week.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6.

READ

Jeremiah 23:5-6

“For the time is coming,”
says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a righteous descendant
from King David’s line.
He will be a King who rules with wisdom.
He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
And this will be his name:
‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’
In that day Judah will be saved,
and Israel will live in safety.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Living between the resurrection of Jesus and the final coming together of all things in heaven and earth means celebrating God’s healing of the world, not his abandoning of it” – N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope

This morning, a bomb exploded in a subway station in Midtown Manhattan. It did very little harm, and the would-be suicide bomber has been captured. But we know there are more people like him bent on violence of one kind of another, all over the world. Everywhere we turn, there are “wars and rumors of wars.”

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It seems only fair to wonder: Where is God and why isn’t he doing anything about all of this?

Centuries ago, God gave the prophet Jeremiah a glimpse into his plan. He told Jeremiah he would send a King unlike any other – a perfect ruler who would bring wisdom, justice, and security. He would bring his divided people back together, back from war and exile. The new King would give his people his righteousness. He would restore their ability to live in a rich, intimate relationship with God.

God’s promise, given through Jeremiah, brought much-needed hope at a time when his people were caught in political turmoil, fear, and heartache. And it brings hope to us today.

Jesus, our Mighty God, came to be King not just of Israel but to all of us. When Jesus defeated death and evil at the cross, he began his reign. He began extending his rule over everyone and everything, a process of healing and restoration that will only be complete when he returns to earth again. In that day, he will bring lasting peace, prosperity, and joy to all of creation. As N.T. Wright explains, God hasn’t abandoned the world; he is healing it.
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More than ever, we need Jesus to come and bring his promised peace. While we wait, we have the incredible privilege of working alongside Jesus, to bring healing and hope in our own spheres of influence. Sometimes that might not feel like much, but empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can work and pray, with faith, towards that time when Jesus’ reign is complete.

OBEY

Speak to Jesus about your hopes and fears for today and for the future. Ask him to give you a vision for his “healing of the world” and how you can play a part in it. Pray for the courage and faith to follow your calling.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you a person in need of encouragement. Ask Jesus what words of hope he has for that person. Contact that person and pass on Jesus’ words.

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