Saturday, December 08, 2007

Advent and listlessness

Bethlehem was more or less remarkable for its proximity to Jerusalem as well as the birthplace of David. All well and good, but nothing had been happening now, for literally centuries, nothing lasting.

In comes that mysterious, glorious night when in God's providential working, the son of David, Jesus is born. Announced to the shepherds in a majestic display by angels, what had been listless (my guess) was now buzzing with hope.
I find in my experience I can so easily become listless. But like the shepherds of old, I have to remind myself what God's word already tells us: "Look to Jesus; come and see. Keep looking, and then learn to follow. And keep following no matter what."

If we have our eyes of faith open, which by the way are opened by simple faith in God's word, then we'll come alive in this new hope and reality found in Jesus. And we'll want to tell others so they can share it with us. We'll no longer be listless in a sleepy existence, but awake and alert and eager for what God wants to do and is doing- God's will in Christ Jesus. And we need to keep doing this.

9 comments:

NaNcY said...

i feel in a battle for the past couple of weeks. it seems that some of the anxiety and depression is back even with my medication. so it is easy to close off from the world. also my belief in Jesus is being attacked in my thoughts. so goes the struggle of the walk sometimes. however, i am still holding on to my faith and trust in Jesus and praying for the Holy Spirit to fill me and see me through whatever lies ahead. God is good and His Love endures forever. I am alive in Jesus and in the Hope that this relationship brings! Thank God for everything.

The Walk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Walk said...

Hey Nancy,

I struggle with anxiety and depression as well. It's awful, not only how it makes you question yourself, your confidence, etc--that's bad enough--but when those other questions start gnawing away at you...the ones about God (for me, I always begin to doubt my salvation, His change in my life)...that's when it really seems to get to me.

Lord Jesus, I pray for my sister Nancy. Please comfort her and fill her with your peace. Thank you for your incredible love for her.

Hugs and prayers, sister.

TheWalk

Charity Singleton said...

Ted -- This waking up is something the Bible commands us to do, but I think you've captured well that it's also a work of God in us. Oh, that we will be ready when He comes, growing in grace.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I too have suffered from both depression and anxiety in my life. And I don't pretend to either be exempt or completely over all that, now. But the Lord has given me grace to carry on, in dependence on him and with the help of his people. God is good, and we trust in him through his Son, in it all. Will be and today have been praying for you about this!

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Walk, Thanks so much for your ministry to Nancy here, and really to the rest of us as well. Blessings on and through you.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Charity,
Well said and so important. Yes indeed, we are called to wake up in more than one place in Scripture.

Yes, Amen. We want to be those who are ready and eager, in anticipation. Awake and alert.

Thanks.

Andrew said...

"If we have our eyes of faith open, which by the way are opened by simple faith in God's word, then we'll come alive in this new hope and reality found in Jesus. And we'll want to tell others so they can share it with us."

I've been enjoying your Advent posts. This reminds of how lax I am in taking opportunities to talk with my coworkers and neighbors about "the reason for the season."

Ted M. Gossard said...

Andrew,
Thanks for your encouraging words.

Yes, it's easy to be lax about oh so many things. And that can be a true enemy of our souls. But it is also just a part of being human. Like Eutychus in Acts falling asleep. We need to keep after ourselves to be alert in faith, fervent by the Spirit, pressing onward, regardless of our feelings.

And oh yes, so important that our faith is so very much a part of who we are that we cannot help but speak of what we have seen and heard.