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    Good Morning Family Of God

    Letter 46 November 30, 2020 by Majors Brenda & David Allen

    Distance. Division. Separation.  These are words that we have experienced.  They are words we live. They are not words of comfort, and they are not words that are inviting. They speak of barriers, both visible and invisible. 

    Have you found yourself watching television, seen people get close, without a mask, and had this intense, foreign emotion, of ‘don’t get so close’?  To be close to someone is no longer acceptable – distance is what is necessary and valued. 

    Thinking about this, as I drove by some people chatting at a distance, words struck me that one day the “lion and the lamb” will lie down together. This is a profound image.  When is a lion near a lamb without there being any concern for the lamb? 

    This image is written about in the Bible.  It brings to my heart this tremendous sense of well-being.  One day this image will be a complete promised reality.

    A wolf will reside with a lamb,
    and a leopard will lie down with a young goat;
    an ox and a young lion will graze together,
    as a small child leads them along.
    A cow and a bear will graze together,
    their young will lie down together.
      (Isaiah 11:4-6)

    We note, interestingly, that these verses speak not necessarily of animals, but most directly of us, God’s dearly loved people. Division will one day be a foreign experience and concept. Everything hurtful in this world, which creates division, will be driven out and the original intended beauty of our world will once again be known and experienced in all its fullness. 

    What enables this reality is mentioned in the verses preceding (vs 1-3 - beautiful verses worth looking up!). We read, “A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock.” Through this ‘shoot’ all hostile division will end. Harmony of all things will be restored. The shoot that will accomplish this is Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, people will experience reconciliation to the living God, and to one another. Jesus is the one who begins and fulfills this image of harmony and consolation.

    As this season of Advent begins, we are reminded of the obscure birth of Jesus – the root of Jesse, born in Bethlehem. A familiar carol, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” offers us words to celebrate all the coming of Jesus accomplishes.  Jesus offers us reconciliation of a most essential relationship with the God who knows and loves us.  This begins by faith today – no distance. It will be completed, one day, in all its beauty, when all things and all people will be made perfectly new by the living eternal God – no distance (Revelation 21:5). 

    108: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

    1. Hark! the herald angels sing:
    Glory to the newborn king;
    Peace on earth and mercy mild,
    God and sinners reconciled.
    Joyful, all ye nations rise,
    Join the triumph of the skies;
    With the angelic host proclaim,
    Christ is born in Bethlehem.

    Hark! the herald angels sing:
    Glory to the newborn king.

    2. Christ, by highest Heaven adored,
    Christ, the everlasting Lord,
    Late in time behold Him come,
    Offspring of a virgin's womb.
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
    Hail the incarnate Deity!
    Pleased as man with man to dwell,
    Jesus, our Immanuel.

    Hark! the herald angels sing:
    Glory to the newborn king.

    3. Hail the Heaven born Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Sun of righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings,
    Risen with healing in His wings.
    Mild He lays His glory by,
    Born that man no more may die,
    Born to raise the sons of earth,
    Born to give them second birth.

    Hark! the herald angels sing:
    Glory to the newborn king.

    Relational God, known to us in Jesus, we are grateful that you invite us to come to you.  You have designed, and delight in the truth, that the distance between us and you, is removed, through your gift, of your Son Jesus. We catch but a glimpse of what that means during these days of walking closely with you.  Give us a profound vision of what this will look like when you return and establish a world that knows not the word ‘division’.  AMEN

    With care and in prayer,

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