Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend, make the mountains shudder at your presence – as when a forest catches fire, as when fire makes a pot boil – to shock your enemies into facing you, make the nations shake in their boots! – Isaiah 64:1-2, The Message
Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might; come and save us.
Restore us, O God;
make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
How long, Lord God Almighty,
will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
The son of man you have raised up for yourself.
Then we will not turn away from you;
Revive us, and we will call on your name.
Psalm 80:1-4;17, NIV
I always thank my God for you, because of the his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way … therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
1 Corinthians 1:4-5; 7 NIV
For most of my life, these kind of scriptures weren’t in the same area code as the joyful Christmas texts. I would have never associated them with the birth narrative. As a child, I was too busy dreaming of the gifts I would receive on Christmas day. As I grew older, I was busy planning what I would buy for those I cared most about or what parties and activities I would take part. Oh, sure, I knew the reason for the season. Keeping the story neatly in a manger and under the angels singing kept it tame enough for me to focus on other things. There was no advent to derail my assumptions of what December was all about. (see what is Advent for an excellent, succinct explanation)