When I was a kid I used to look so forward to December 1st. That was when I could open the very first window in my Advent Calendar, look and see what the chocolate design was… you know, an angel, a Wiseman, a shepherd, etc…. and then eat it up. The main problem though was that by December 2nd, the only thing left behind in those little windows was a hollowed out shell and the smell of the chocolate …. Yep, I had no self control and I counted down to Christmas in one day. What do you expect? The pieces of chocolate were wafer thin and the windows weren’t locked… it was like a chocolate free for all.
Well, now I’m all grown up and have self control ……. And I also have a job so I can buy an extra calendar or two just in case ….. but, this isn’t about chocolate calendars….it’s not about self-control….. It is about the Advent Season and the excitement that the countdown brings.
I’ve found myself many times when I’m reading during my quiet time, wanting to read more and then a bit more and even more …. pretty much like the chocolate of my childhood, I don’t want to stop until I’m satisfied. So to add to my regular Bible reading plan, I’m opening an Advent reading window a day (while eating a piece of chocolate, of course). I’m doing this so I can share the “chocolate” that is satisfying to me and hopefully to others to.
So grab your chocolate …. the real stuff.. or not….. and hold me accountable to sharing with you a devotion, insight or story a day until Christmas. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as I will.
So, we’ll begin here in Isaiah…. Isaiah 11:1-5 to be exact
Isaiah is prophesying- He’s telling about a person (Jesus), a descendant of David, who is going to have some pretty obvious qualities about himself…. Godly wisdom, Godly Counsel, Godly Understanding…Just these three alone are enough to make you think He would be the one to follow, but as you move on down into the scripture there is something that I read that makes the whole appreciating Jesus thing even more precious.
It talks about his quality of blindness in Christ… not literal blindness, but instead, it is the ability to look at someone and not see them as others do and not judge them because of the way that they appear. He judges the heart (That is why the Pharisees stayed so angry at him all of the time) . In other words, he doesn’t love us just because we are attractive, or physically fit, or big givers of our money, are financially sound, teach Sunday School or sing in the choir or any other deed. He loves us because we are his creation… made in his image.. That’s an incredible hope for a society who lives in a shadow of Hollywood images and lifestyles … It is also incredible hope for those haunted by their past.
We also find out He also judges by what he knows and sees … not rumor…He waits to know our hearts and doesn’t allow the opinion of another to persuade his thoughts about us. More hope for those plagued with a history of poor choices or a past (or even present) that has brought about conversations from others.
When Isaiah was prophesying about this Messiah, he painted a picture of a fair and loving Christ that we fortunately now have an opportunity to know…. personally.
Have you pushed Christ aside because of a sin, a past, a hate, a bitterness or just an esteem that feels undeserving? Look at how he see us… it’s different than what we are used to …. allow him to show you that love.
What about those who have experienced his love… How is your love? Is your love blind toward others? Is it based on what you feel is attractive or not so attractive (appearances, financial status, hygiene, rumors, lifestyle, political positions)? Today is a great day to practice blind love… to try to see the heart of a person rather than what the world sees.
So, I’m off to buy more chocolate…. I love this time of year!
New Living Translation (NLT)
1 Out of the stump of David’s family[a] will grow a shoot—
yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 He will delight in obeying the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance
nor make a decision based on hearsay.
4 He will give justice to the poor
and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
5 He will wear righteousness like a belt
and truth like an undergarment.