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Let Nothing You Dismay: And Advent Prayer for the Day of Delight is Coming!

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Let Nothing You Dismay! – An Advent Prayer
Week 3 – The Day of Delight is Coming!
Zephaniah 3:14-20

IN JESUS NAME

May the grace of God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ be so revealed to you, that the idea of dismay or disillusion be simply impossible, as you experience the dimensions of His love.

The Announcement Will Be
 
As we consider the old hymn’s line, God rest you merry gentleman, let nothing you dismay, as we look at the advent readings out of the prophets about the day of Christ, we’ve see something incredible so far.  These prophecies were all about a day that was to come, the day that Jeremiah described as the day of promise.  Last week Malachi described it as the day of returning, and next week, Micah will talk about the day of peace.

But tonight we’ve heard from Zephaniah, and we will explore the day he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to write about….

The Day of Delight!

Delight, the greatest of joys.  The kind of joy that leaves us unable to speak.

A video is circulating on the internet, of this kind of joy.  People born color blind are given these new special glasses, that enable them to see color for the first time in their lives.  And these people’s body language and the tears of amazement are something to see. 

So I think I will show you…

(video?)

That’s the kind of joy, the kind of delight the prophet says God has promised on that day.

This is Amazing… 

But what we really need to realize, is that he didn’t promise this delight to you and I.  We aren’t the primary ones to know this joy, this delight.

He is.

Hear the passage again,

17  For the LORD your God is living among you. He isa mighty savior. He the greatest delight in you with gladness.

God will beoverjoyed, He will know the greatest delight with gladness, as He comes anddwells with you, and me.

He will take delight in you, Al, and you Tom, He will take delight in you therein the back, yes you Doug and Frank, and you over hiding there behind thepulpit and the music stand, yeah you Missy and Kay.

God will, on that day, take delight in you! Think back to the joy of the color blind man… can you imagine Godlooking at your with that kind of joy? That is His promise to you!

I mean I get the idea that with all of our burdens we will know a delightbeyond all imagination when we are welcomed into the presence of God.

God finding that kind of joy, joy inexpressible, when we show up?

That’s what the prophet promises!  He even says it again, hear this! 

With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

The Hand of Judgement is removed

This is the incredible promise we have to understand, that as much as we findGod’s mercy incredible, as much as we are amazed when we hear our sin is completely forgiven, as much joy we find as we experience the width and breadth, the height and depth of God’s love for us, revealed in Jesus…

He finds the greatest joy in restoring us to Himself, reconciling us, cleansing us from all sin.

All of it.

Zephaniah tells us that God will remove his hand of judgment, he ends all ourtroubles, and we will never have to fear His wrath.  We will never be disgraced or live in shame,or be oppressed, and He will gather us together, and on that day bring us home.

Where we will see God rejoice and sing and be delighted, as He makes His homein our presence.

Not yet?  Or Now?

Now the really mind blowing part of this… this day when God finds such delight in our presence, the day when He rejoices over us with songs of joy…

While this will definitely be something that we see completely revealed on the day of Christ’s advent, this time has already happened, for John’s gospel tells us,

14  So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John 1:14 (NLT2)

And in Luke’s gospel

19  and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” 20  He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21  Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
Luke 4:19-21 (NLT2)


In Christ’s incarnation, the thing we celebrate at Christmas, as Christ came, this truth became real, God again found great delight in His people, in dwelling with them.  Even through the suffering, the death on the cross, we find that Hebrews tells us it was for the joy set before Him that Christ endured the cross, and in the resurrection, and at the day of Pentecost and every day someone is baptized since, this promise becomes true,

God delights in His people, in you’re and I,, and He rejoices over us with songs of joy!

So let Him cleanse you once again, as we gather together and share in the Lord’s Supper… AMEN!

Holy Day Blues…

Devotional Thought of the Day:

The crossing guard between my church and my son’s school mentioned it this week, as did a few other people – the Holy Days Blues have set in, and people are not finding relief.

As a pastor, I expect more people to come to my church during this time of year – and they are coming – not to the services – but to my office (or my cyber office – with needs of every kind, physical, financially, emotionally all impacting them spiritually.  Many of the answers are found – not in my

There is the financial pressure that seems to affect so many here in California.  A few have job lay-offs, there are marriage problems (often it is family pressure, but it can be lack of family that is the problem -as those they love have passed away in the last year….)It is the time crunch – how are we going to get everything done.., how are we going to be able to please all the people who have valid claims on our time, and those who have such claims and do not care whether they are valid – they just take them.  Similarly those who approach with needs – often exaggerate them, or even lie about them, and those in need who will not approach, the pride they have getting in the way of their receiving what they’ve given for so many years.

The weight is heavy, it is tiring, and I am by no means the only one to feel it…and I will admit to –

For in admitting that I feel the weight of this season, I am called to remember that the weight of life is why we have this blessed season of Advent. That the world is always in this tension of needing Christ’s return – the groaning that affects the entire earth (see Romans 8)  Yet even in that moment I think of His coming and not only pray for it, but pretty much beg for it, I realize His presence is here now, that He is the incarnate Christ, the one who has promised to never leave or forsake His people, nor ever leave us… He is here, His Spirit bringing comfort, peace, mercy, love…forgiveness, strength, and yeah – even in the midst of the broken world joy.

It is not just Christmas and New Years holidays, or even Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Epiphany Holy Days… for everyday is Holy, every day is one where we walk with Him….

And blue, while the color of advent. becomes the color of comfort, even while I struggle to see Christ, to realize I dwell in His presence… for that is the work of the Holy Spirit.

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