Isaiah 11:1-9

            No more appropriate Scripture could be highlighted during the season of Advent:  “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”  As Christians, we believe this is a prophecy of Jesus in whom all of these virtues exist in wonderful perfection and practice.
 
            Jesus has so clearly identified with us that we are in a vital union with him.  He still exists here on earth in the person of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was sent by the Father.  With the Father and the Son, the Spirit was sent to press the redemptive events of Jesus into the believer’s heart.  This is basic robust Trinitarian theology.  But these are not abstract ideas.  Prayer, discernment, and listening are the pathways forward to discovering the wisdom, counsel, and knowledge we need in order to live and serve well as Christians.
 
            In many quarters of Christianity the church exists as a mere stump of its former existence.  In many Christians’ daily experience the Spirit has been supplanted by individual ingenuity, hard work, and getting ahead through accumulation of more and more.  Basic Christian spirituality is a mere shadow of its former influence.  If we again desire the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon us, we will seek Christ as of foremost importance.  Let this Advent season be a time of renewal as we take the prophecy of Isaiah to heart.
 

 

            Righteous God, you have not forgotten your people.  Thank you for fulfilling all your good promises to us in Christ.  I seek you for everything so that I might do your work and implement your will instead of trusting in my own abilities.  May Jesus be glorified and praised through the work of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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