The Pilgrim Path (12-2-2020)
The Pilgrim Path---Isaiah 59: 20, 21
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL…
In the early part of Isaiah chapter 59, you read, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares” (verse 14). That is sobering. This would require the LORD Himself to eventually dress in righteous garments and enter the fray against the foes of Holiness and Truth (verses 17—19). When the LORD’S people stagger and stumble in a sinful world---they need assurance that a Redeemer is in fact coming. Isaiah declares that a Super Soul Savior will come! And the LORD lets the people know HE is bound to them in covenant. His truth will come to life “in” them---and in the lives of their children---and their seed forevermore. Now, this does not mean you forgo the means of grace and cease to model the Gospel of Jesus Christ before your children. This we must do always---and pray for God’s incredible intervention in their hearts and minds The LORD loves our children and grandchildren far more than we can imagine. We commit them to His sovereign heart-changing power---and speak the truth to them in love. A step at a time. A day at a time---calling upon the LORD in faith.
In this world we often cry, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!”
Perhaps you read this? November 29, 2020---Washington Post---many News outlets carried it:
Simon Denyer and Akiko Kashiwagi
TOKYO---Suicide rates among young women have increased notably in Japan and South Korea, raising possible links to the prolonged coronavirus pandemic as it amplifies stress levels, worsens economic woes, and aggravates feelings of loneliness and isolation.
No comprehensive global studies are yet available on whether the pandemic has caused suicide numbers or how it may have affected different age groups and genders.
Research conducted by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the summer found that 1 in 10 respondents had seriously considered suicide the previous month, twice the rate observed in 2018. The rate among 18-24 years old in the survey was 1 in 4, the CDC reported. There is also some evidence that the rate of suicides among U. S. military personnel has risen.
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
We human beings---in our anxiety, brokenness, callousness, doubt, self-deceit, and fear---often attempt to shut out the One we need most: the LORD of Glory. Thank God---He comes after His Own!
From Raymond Ortlund, Jr---
“We’ve made the world a mess. But God will not accept defeat, because his love is not a favorable mood swing. He loves us for reasons deep within his own being, and he declares his love with a solemn oath (Hebrews 6: 13—20). He guarantees our future, and he explains how he is going to get us there. He gives us his Spirit and his Word, and he’ll never take them away. We should never separate the Spirit and the Word. God doesn’t. And we need both. Without the Spirit, we get dry. Without the Word, we get weird. But the Spirit and the Word together are enough to re-create the world.”
From the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563:
“I believe that the Son of God, through his Spirit and Word, out of the entire human race, from the beginning of the world to its end, gathers, protects and preserves for himself a community chosen for eternal life and united in true faith. And of this community I am and always will be a living member.”
We are not alone---God is with Us---in the very ministry and care of the LORD Jesus Christ…Have You called on Him for help and cleansing? For direction and peace? He is the Shepherd of wandering souls…He will turn NO one away who comes to Him in faith believing…
The hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel---was unknown to me---until around my freshman year of college. It may well have been in hymnals in churches I attended---I just never remember singing it until college. The hymn is ancient in lyrics and music. I will not list all the verses---but notice in the four (4) verses—the different names for the Christ of God. What a Man is this Savior Jesus---The God-Man! He comes to where we are---and changes who we are---for His glory---and the good of souls! We worship Him!
O come, O Come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
O Come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go.
O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow’s put to flight.
LATIN HYMN (TWELFTH CENTURY)
Stanzas 1 and 4 translated by John Mason Neale (1818-1866)
Stanzas 2 and 3 translated by Henry S. Coffin (1877-1954)
Grace and Peace in Jesus, the Only Redeemer of broken and wretched souls, Pastor Jason