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Romans 15:4-13 | New Living Translation (NLT)
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jewsto show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:
“For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing praises to your name.”
And in another place it is written,
“Rejoice with his people,
And yet again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.”
And in another place Isaiah said,
“The heir to David’s throne will come,
and he will rule over the Gentiles.
They will place their hope on him.”
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Heir to David’s Throne Will Come
We continue the theme of waiting…over this past week, the Lord has really impressed on me the concept of Advent as a time of waiting. As part of that, Pam and I are working through Louie Giglio’s Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope. We got started a few days late because it works from the First Sunday of Advent. I really love that Louie has incorporated old Advent hymns in this book. I will be sharing one at the end of this post.
So many times when we think of the Root of Jesse, we think of Jesus, the promised Jewish messiah. We do that because Isaiah was writing to the Jewish people. In Isaiah 11, we have this stump of David’s family described. 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. We are told that he would delight in obeying the Lord. He will give justice to the poor — he will be fair to the exploited – the earth will shake at the force of his word. Interesting that Isaiah tells us that one breath from his mouth can destroy the wicked. This is the background to which Paul writes in Romans.
Paul is not writing to a primarily Jewish audience, but to a Gentile audience. He reminds his readers that this stump of Jesse – this heir to David’s throne is Jesus and this Jesus came for the Gentiles – this Savior is not just a Savior for the Jews – but he is a Savior for all the people. Paul reminds us that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to his promises!
Jesus came to the Gentiles so that we may give glory to God. We praise him for mercies – We praise him for his grace. We are told by David through Paul that we must praise him and sing praises to his name. I love how our reading ends today…
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit
The promise of his coming – is the source of hope…and will fill us with peace. As I will be mentioning on Sunday, I believe that Christ has called us to be agents of peace and comfort. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and he is the God of All Comfort.
To end today, I want to end with an ancient Advent hymn that I just discovered – it would be done in a chant style at the time it was written. It’s one of those texts that deserves to be rediscovered – and maybe even put to a new tune.
Creator of the Stars of Night
Creator of the stars of night. Thy people's everlasting light: O Christ, Redeemer, save us all And hear Thy servants when they call. Thou, grieving that the ancient curse Should doom to death a universe, Hast found the healing, full of grace, To cure and save our ruined race. Thou cam'st the Bridegroom of the bride. As drew the world to eventide, The spotless Victim all divine Proceeding from a virgin shrine. At whose dread name, majestic now, All knees must bend, all hearts must bow; All things celestial Thee shall own, And things terrestrial, Lord alone. O Thou, whose coming is with dread To judge the living and the dead, Preserve us from the ancient foe While still we dwell on earth below. To God the Father and the Son And Holy Spirit, Three in One Praise, honor, might, and glory be From age to age eternally.