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November 30 First Day of Advent-Church New Year

Isaiah, Chapter 63, verse 17:
17 Why do you make us wander, LORD, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we do not fear you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

This chapter in Isaiah is called the Divine Warrior because Isaiah in this chapter refers to Christ as a warrior.  Isaiah laments that we in our weak human nature have turned our hearts away from God and that we have no fear of divine justice.  Have we become so enamored with the world and our own lives that when we look into the heavens at night we only see impressive specks of glittering rocks we call stars and not the love of the creator which made them? 

There is an expression, “Attitude is everything!” and so what should our attitude be during advent and why is Isaiah lamenting that Israel did not fear God?  The answer lies in our attitude toward life.  Holy fear is born out of love and is a response to the God our creator; it is a fear more closely related to awe.  It is the loving fear of a child that does not want to disappoint a parent and goes to great lengths to please them.  During this season of Advent we should develop this sense of Holy fear, doing what is right and good to please the Father.  Remembering that, “Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31).

During this season of Advent let us daily ask of our Lord to remove our hearts of stone and give us a hearts of love thus making the winter brighter and our burdens lighter and thus bringing cheer to the hearts of all we encounter.  May we through love be brought to Holy fear enabling us to be careful in the practice of our faith and bring us to a spirit of penitence.

May we with the palmist say, “Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.  (Psalm 80)