Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Isaiah 9:3-5
You have multiplied the nation,
   you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder. 
 For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
   and all the garments rolled in blood
   shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 

Hope of the hills

My mind wanders to ancient hills, Holy One. It takes flight and circles the globe, hovering over sandblasted hills in deserts and ancient lands where people have lifted their hands to pray and praise you for thousands of years.

I see their descendants there, still with open hands and wounded hearts, and I wonder: What does it feel like to stand in ancient churches and pray with Christians in Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East?

It has been too long since I had this privilege. Praying with them, I felt connected with an ancient hope and heritage, filled with respect and love for souls who have endured more than I can imagine.

I have not seen my church destroyed. I have not entered the sanctuary on Christmas Eve fearing bombs planted by those who hate me. I do not look around at empty pews missing the faces of those who fled for their lives … or died trying. I don’t know anyone who was tortured for saying the name, Jesus.

But I know and have seen the faith of such souls. The prophet’s words excite a hope in them we cannot imagine. They know the tramp of soldier’s boots and garments rolled in blood.

Their prayers burst from the urgency of fear, crying out in hope for God to come break the yoke of oppression and bring compassion to the nations.

Come, Lord Jesus. 

Pr. David L. Miller

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