Advent 4.2: Joy in Remembrance

Light three purple candles and one pink/red candle.
Read: Isaiah 49:5-13

“Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth!
Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people
And will have compassion on His afflicted.” (Isaiah 49:13)

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I once had a pastor friend tell me that one of the most important things he would do for a grieving family is hold an evening of remembrance and sharing about the deceased. Usually held on the night after the death, the time of sharing would be moderated by the pastor, who would ask them questions about their loved one and help them sort through their grief. Though not exactly a joyous occasion, the act of remembrance brought some comfort and ease to the family.

Knowing that Judah would go through over 500 years of toil and struggle after the exile to Babylon, God spoke through Isaiah the prophet to inform His people that there would be a comforter coming. The messiah would bring a new age with Him, a time of peace and forgiveness, and all who wished for relief would find it through Him. Part of Christmas is a celebration that God remembered His people and brought them His promised messiah. And this news was to bring great joy.

The fact that God remembered Israel and still remembers us in our various plights should bring forth joy in our hearts. For our God cares for us. And the birth of His messiah, His Son Jesus, is proof of that.

Be God’s.