Saturday, 22 December 2012

Weeping may last for a night time

Cowering under the bedcovers through the night, gripped in the midst of fear, almost suffocating from the weight of those fears. Many tears but not a wink of sleep passed my eyes that night as I poured out my fears to God.  This is how I saw in the new year on 31st December, 2011. As the new day dawned, and the first rays of light from 2012 shone through the bedroom window, chasing away the shadows of the dark night, He uttered a verse of promise to my heart:

As those words took root in my heart, the fears were swallowed up by His promise, as hope and peace took their rightful place, growing with the strengthening daylight.

This word of God has not returned to Him empty, but has proven itself to me over this year, time and time again.

It is a promise that has sustained me throughout a difficult year. And it is a promise that has returned to me as the year closes and I have sought to respond to the tragedy of Sandy Hook, which stands as a solemn and Holy testimony to the darkness engulfing the land, to a land that has been “given over” in Holy judgment, a land where His hand is lifted high yet the people do not see it. As in America, so in Britain.

This Christmas time, as Immanuel holds my attention, I remember how Light stepped down into the darkness. The darkness did not overcome. Darkness was defeated. This is the promise we have, the promise we celebrate! No matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. In this time of darkness, it is surely time to teach one another a lament, to hold fast to the promise of Immanuel.

Sovereign Lord, list the tears of my lament
In your scroll, hear my cry
For our land walks in the dark
And we cannot see the light
Arise O Lord! May we hear Your Voice again!

Sovereign Lord, truth has stumbled in the streets
Righteousness stands afar
Yet we have not lost our hope
As we cry “Come, Emmanuel!”
The light shines in the dark and is not overcome!

And weeping may last for a night-time
But rejoicing – it shall come
Yes rejoicing – it shall come
Rejoicing shall come with the dawning of the day!

Sovereign Lord, my heart is poured out on the ground
The fathers’ hearts are turned away
But as darkness closes in
Your deliverance draws near
Arise, O Lord! And turn our mourning into joy!

And weeping may last for a night-time
But rejoicing – it shall come
Yes rejoicing – it shall come
Rejoicing shall come with the dawning of the day!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Immanuel - God with us

Last year as I thought about the blessed incarnation of Christ, the Word dwelling among us in flesh, my thoughts were shadowed by the cross of Christ.

This year as I think about the Word coming to tabernacle amongst us, I am mindful of His return.

It is no surprise, really, that the world can find it in its heart to acknowledge the birth of Christ upon the earth. A baby in a manger doesn't challenge us. Little Jesus, meek and mild.

This year, I want to shout out the truth, that He is coming again. And His second coming will be so different to His first coming.

As I remember the coming of the King this year, I am overawed. My Jesus, My King, My Saviour, My Lord…I bow my knee before Him. May He grant me a greater boldness in the coming year to proclaim the year of His favour, the year of Jubilee.