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Oh, that the LORD would rend the heavens and come down! (Isaiah 64:1 ESV) As God’s Advent people, we live in prayer. During the next several weeks, we will be looking at the words of the Prophet Isaiah and our lives of prayer. As Advent people who not only wait and pray for Christ’s return in glory, we also proclaim the Good News of His glorious appearing when He came and died and rose again for all.

The role of a prophet is often focused on the ministry of proclaiming the deeds of God, both what it meant for the people of God in the past as well as what it will mean for the people of God in the future and how both of these change our lives now. As we enter the Advent season in preparation to celebrate the Christmas season, we hear the words of the prophet as they speak of the coming Messiah – the Christ of Christmas. This ministry to proclaim the coming of the Savior helps us to “see” God at work in our everyday lives.

One aspect of this role of the prophet is their passion to speak both for God but also for the people. “Behold… Thus, saith the LORD” is a common phrase in the writings of the prophets and Isaiah is no exception. What they utter is the Word of the Lord and we do well to heed that word and promise. But they were also people of great faith and prayer as they brought before God the needs of the people and reminded Him of His promises to save. Their prayers, like the one from Isaiah 64 this morning, are of the same type as those of Abraham who sought God’s favor for the souls of all the living in Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses who pleaded with God not to destroy the people of Israel for their sin of making an idol; or of Nathan who prayed for King David in the midst of his sinful rebellion. Isaiah “reminds” God of His identity as the Father of all the living, the Potter and Creator of all.

Does God need reminding that He alone is God and that no one can rescue us from His Hands? The answer is “No.” Isaiah 49:5 tells us that while even a parent may forget their child, the LORD will never forget us. So, what would be the purpose of the prophet’s prayer? If God does not forget, why should we remind Him? This is part of the importance of prayer and why we are a people of prayer. We pray for ourselves and others so that we do not forget God’s love and mercy. Each day we live by the rules of this world that seem to only say, “do well and you will live” or “if you suffer it is because you deserve it.” While we do deserve nothing good, God has come down! Jesus entered our world born of the Virgin! He entered Jerusalem in humility riding on the foal of a donkey that He would be the Savior of all. There He answered Isaiah’s prayer as He tore the heavens open for us upon the cross. His precious perfect life was offered up as the one sacrifice for all the living that we would “see” how God “acts for those who wait for Him.”

In Jesus who is Immanuel, we are an Advent people of prayer who call, together with the prophets, that God would come down both to bring an end to our sin and sadness but also so that He would enter the everyday activities of our lives to bring us hope and meaning. We need to see that behind the clouds the sun is still shining. The moment when the clouds break, and the sunlight comes streaming down can inspire us and cause us to look up and consider God’s amazing creation. Even as we wait for Him to come again in glory, we pray that we would experience His presence now in our lives and in the lives of others, our families, friends, co-workers, and classmates. We seek God’s intervention and immediate involvement in our lives and in our world for the good of all. Today we call on Jesus – the One who comes in the name of the LORD – to enter into our lives now. So, we pray “Amen! Come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20)

Pastor Carl