Sunday, 11 December 2016

Part 1 - the Long Awaited King

The Promise
(Isaiah 53 v 4-6)

But he took our suffering on him
and felt our pain for us.
We saw his suffering.
We thought God was punishing him.
But he was wounded for the wrong things we did.
He was crushed for the evil things we did.
The punishment, which made us well, was given to him.
And we are healed because of his wounds.
We all have wandered away like sheep.
Each of us has gone his own way.
But the Lord has put on him the punishment
for all the evil we have done..”

As the angels looked on over the shed in Bethlehem, with the stink of the cows and the donkeys and the sheep.
Heaven fell silent.

Not at the moment finally being here.
Not at the wonderment of God stepping in.
Not even at the astonishment of God becoming a child himself.

It fell silent at what God was going to do next.

In the beginning.          The very beginning.     God loved you.

In the end.                    In the very end.            He showed you.

But that’s another story…

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Part 2 -the Long Awaited King

The Problem
(Isaiah 53 v 3)

He was hated and rejected by people.
He had much pain and suffering.
People would not even look at him.
He was hated, and we didn’t even notice him.”
The time was almost here. All the watching and waiting was nearly over. God’s children were almost back in their home.

And as heaven held it’s breath to see all of God’s promises fulfilled
In a tiny little town…
To a mam who wasn’t married…
Someone from Judah’s family…


A tiny baby
In a shed
In the cold of the night

God himself, held in someone else’s hands.

And as the earth shaking,
time splitting,
cosmic changing moment happened

there was a problem.

After all God’s promising and reminding and explaining.

After all his pursuing and running after and shouting over and over again.

And after God arrived on earth to end the lie and shout louder than anyone or anything ever had or ever would again

“I                  LOVE             YOU”

God’s children didn’t want to know.

It was just like Isaiah had said
Just as God knew
                                    “One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum”

Isaiah had already told his children what they would do when God finally did come back for them.

God had already told Isaiah what his children would think of the great rescue plan, of the Rescuer, of The King.

God always knew

And yet

He still came.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Part 3 - The Long Awaited King

The Prince
(Isaiah 9 v 6 - 7)

A child will be born to us.
God will give a son to us.
He will be responsible for leading the people.
His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God,
Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.
Power and peace will be in his kingdom.
He will rule it forever and ever.
The Lord of heaven’s armies will do this
because of his strong love for his people.”


The lie thundered on. Tearing God’s children apart. Making their lives harder and harder until it seemed that the lie really was the truth. All the hurting and suffering outside of the garden meant that God’s children only became more deafened to his shouts of rescue.

Wars and hatred and bitterness started to tear apart God’s children. Forgetting him had meant they had forgotten who they were and that meant they had forgotten to watch and wait for The King.

So God sent them another message.
Another reminder that he was still there.
After all this time.
After all their battling against him . And turning away. And saying HE was the liar

He was still coming for them.
And he was coming for them with The Prince of Peace.

One who would quell all the anger and fear and hating.
One who would be stronger than the lies and the accusations and the deceit.
One who would wipe away all their tears so they could see for real, the truth that had always been there from the very beginning.
Once again Isaiah told God’s children God’s message. To watch and wait for

A Prince
A Prince who’s rule would be with peace.
A peace that wasn’t like any peace the world now knew.
A peace that was from the very beginning, right back in the garden.
A peace that was stronger and more powerful and forever.

God’s children had now forgotten what peace was really like. The wonderful sound of peace that had been in the garden, in all that God had first made, had been drowned out by the lie that God didn’t care. And now the lie was so loud that God’s children couldn’t even remember what the peace sounded like at all.

Which is why the Rescuer would not just bring peace back but would rule with peace so that God’s children could never forget it again.

God’s children tried their very best to make life work without him. But somehow it was never quite right.

However hard they tried they still got sick
and hurt
and they still died.
Life out of Eden was definitely hard, but it was also short. By now God’s children had all but forgotten him and the wonderful place he had first given them. They had forgotten the beauty of those first few days on earth. The peace of perfection that they had lived in.

But despite this there was something deep within them that meant they knew that sickness and hurt and death were not how they were supposed to live. But instead of making them run back to God it only made them keep running further and further away.

God’s children knew that life wasn’t supposed to be this way but everywhere they looked it still seem so final
So God gave Isaiah another message – truth be known, Isaiah did a lot of message carrying between God and his lost children, which is quite a hard job when your trying to deliver post to someone who doesn’t know where they are.

So Isaiah faithfully passed on God next message

“His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end”

God was telling his children that they were right. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. That was why he was moving heaven and earth to set things straight. Life with God was supposed to last forever. Death and sickness and sadness were never supposed to be.

God’s Rescuer was going to rule forever. They would never have to worry about being lost again.

Not once The King had found them.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Part 4 - The Long Awaited King

The Everlasting Kingdom
(Jeremiah 23 v 5)

The days are coming,” says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a good descendant in David’s family.
This descendant will be a king who will rule in a wise way.
And he will do what is fair and right in the land.”

Many, many years had passed now since the snake had told the horrible lie,
and since Adam and Eve had believed him,
and since his children had walked out of the garden that God had given them.

God had kept on telling his children over and over again that he was coming back for them. Even though life with God was hard,
and sad,
and lonely,
his children still kept wandering away from him. And God kept reminding them that he was going to set everything right.

God’s children kept telling him that they didn’t want him, and they were starting to get tired of watching and waiting for God’s King to arrive. One day they asked God for a king right now – God told them that a human king wouldn’t look after them or rescue them like his Promised King would, but God’s children didn’t care. Once again they told God that they didn’t want his plan, they wanted their own, and God, because he loved them, gave them what they wanted.

The first king he gave them was king Saul – he started out as a goodie but he didn’t really love God and he did terrible things just like God said he would.

But still his children didn’t listen to him and so God gave them another king, this time he gave them a king who did love him and who was watching and waiting for God’s Promised King and so this king, king David, kept reminding his people that God was still on his way.

And then, God told his children a wonderful thing. The Promised King – the real King, the Rescuing King – would be one of king David’s children’s, children’s, children.

Just like he had told Jacob that one of Judah’s great-grandchildren would be the King, one of king David’s great grandchildren would also be the King – which made sense because king David was part of Judah’s family too.

One day the real King would come, to take his rightful place amongst God’s people. He wouldn’t be a king like any human king – with servants and castles and armies, or with royal robes and a shiney crown. No, the real King would be far, far more than any human king.

He would be more powerful
                        More wonderful
                                    And more mighty

He would be The King.