Advent 2022 #4: Kindnesses of the Lord

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. He said, “Surely they are my people, children who will be true to me”; and so he became their Saviour. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

So it reads in Isaiah 63.

The kindness of the Lord. It’s very fitting for Christmas time.

It is God’s kindness and his awareness of our distress that caused him to send Jesus into the world. Christmas is when God came near, in the birth of a baby. He didn’t just feel distress. He took action.

In the Old Testament, it is the angel of God’s presence that rescues. Of course, being rescued by the angel of God’s presence is a good thing. But in the nativity, we see the actual presence of God in human form.

Christmas is Next Level.

Because Christmas brings Christ. And he is stained in blood.

Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?

“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”

The blood of Christ. The blood of Christ is not something easy to understand. In other parts of The Bible its referred to as The Blood of the Covenant.

It’s the blood of promises; God’s promises. It’s what binds them all together.

It’s the blood of fellowship. Fellowship with God and fellowship with one another. Whatever and whoever is in the blood cannot be undone or removed.

It’s a blood of cleansing. Our need for cleansing is our ultimate distress.

And it’s an ultimate distress that God has met. And there is only one who can do it: Jesus. He wouldn’t be treading the winepress alone if it was a position for many to fill.

It is I speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.

In Bethlehem at Christmas time, Jesus is a defenceless baby. In The Bible more holistically, Jesus is a warrior.

It might be good to remember this at Christmas time, so that we don’t get distracted by the farm animals at petting zoos.

Let’s keep our Christmas focused on the real Jesus.

Yours in the Fellowship,

Alison

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