Advent is for our salvation


Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.

Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

How long, Lord God Almighty,
will your anger smolder
against the prayers of your people?
You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.

Restore us, God Almighty;
make your face shine on us,
that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:1-7

Advent again refers to the coming of the Lord which from our vantage point we look back on as given to us in Matthew and Luke’s gospel, and look forward to in anticipation of God’s promises being fulfilled according to the words Jesus spoke along with the apostles afterwards, found in other writings in the New Testament. Those words echoing the promises of the prophets of old.

Yes, we’re blessed to be a blessing, as God’s covenant people in the Messiah, but we too are in need of salvation just as much as the rest of the world. This was true of Israel of old. They were unfaithful to their God, but there was always a faithful remnant. But even that faithful remnant was just as much in need of God’s salvation as in God’s deliverance inside and out. They needed deliverance from their enemies, from God’s enemies, and first and foremost from their own sins and ultimately from death itself, even if the latter is not much spoken of in the Hebrew/Old Testament writings. But that theme is present.

And salvation is not only deliverance from, but also restoration to the purposes God has for humanity so as to realize fully the meaning to our lives, including a destiny of which we can have an inkling, but is impossible for us to fully imagine.

Yes, Advent is the awaiting of the full, complete salvation to come when King Jesus returns, for us and for the entire world. And we look back on the salvation that has come and is at work in us, and in some ways even in the world through King Jesus’ first coming.

We need salvation; I need salvation, all the way around, inside and out. That is in large part why Jesus came, why God became King in Jesus: to bring the needed salvation for us and for the world. Our salvation being in and through Jesus himself. Beginning now, to be fully realized later, going on forever. Which initially came in the little baby boy, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.



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