TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22
2 Samuel 7:1-11,16 (NRSV)
Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”
But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.
Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.
FINDING LOVE IN GOD WITH US
“Are we almost there? How much longer?” We often hear these questions from restless children as we drive to a destination. But how often do we have the same questions as we go about our daily living? As we travel this path of life – hoping to reach our goals, making exciting plans, anticipating future joys, trying to fulfill our purposes – we encounter trials and challenges that delay, detour, or disrupt our hopes and dreams. This year has been filled with many roadblocks for us, and the same questions have come to mind:
“Are we almost there? How much longer?”
How does our Advent love help us to travel this ‘limbo journey’ of life?
In our passage for today, King David tells the prophet Nathan that he wants to build God a temple in which to live. His intentions seem pure; he questions why he should live in “a house of cedar while the ark of God stays in a tent.” But God reveals to Nathan that a house is not needed. In fact, God is working to make a new place, a new house – a kingdom for David and his people! God also helps Nathan understand the ways God has always moved with the people, “I have been with you wherever you went.” God’s presence has helped and protected them all along the way.
What wonderful reassurance this is for us, as we think about our own limbo-living! Today we find our Advent love in knowing that God is with us, wherever we go. As the Gospel of John tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The original Greek wording can be translated as, “God pitched his tent among us.” We have God everywhere. Our Advent love is found in God’s presence, around, among, and within us – always and forever.
“Are we almost there? How much longer?”
We do not know where our paths will lead us, but we do know that God assures us, “I’m going with you!” We do not know what our future holds, but we do know that God encourages us, “I am going ahead of you!” We do not know what obstacles we will face, but we do know that God reminds us, “I will help you!” We do not know when we will reach our final destination, but we do know that God in Christ promises us, “I am preparing a place for you!”
As we journey this limbo life in the certainty of God’s constant and eternal presence, we will no longer need to ask the question, “Are we almost there?” For as we travel along in God’s good company, we will find that we have already arrived.
Our reading for Thursday (Christmas Eve) will be Luke 2:1-20.
Bible verses taken from https://www.biblegateway.com/