Our CEO, Scott Sanders introduces our "Being Present" Advent series with a reflection from Isaiah on what it means to pursue peace during this season.
I don't know about you, but I find it so hard to be present when everything's busy and bustling around me. And I'm just a school kid! I'm just trying to balance the stress and work of starting Year 12, finding a formal dress, learning those songs I'm supposed to learn, and remembering that Christmas is coming up (and I need to somehow come up with money to buy presents for those I love.) And it does feel hard. And stressful. And it's so easy to be absorbed in myself and what I have to do this Christmas.
But, as Common Grace has been talking about in this Advent series, I know that it's important to be present and to remember the true meaning of Christmas. That it's a time to focus on God's master plan that is JESUS.
Jesus. God's master plan that changed the entirety of our human lives - both spiritually and physically. The plan that is our reason for both peace and hope.
In Isaiah 26:1-6, we read all that God has promised us, that is fulfilled in Jesus. We are reminded that God is faithful and a 'sure thing'. He's always present. And whilst we humans can get so caught up in ourselves and our own selfish ways, God always does things right. And not because he has to- but because he wants to. He loves us that much. Through Jesus, God set everything right. Because he loves us.
So Christmas is actually an opportunity for us to pull back from work, school and all the many 'things to do' and to reflect that same 'present-ness' to others, that God shows us all year round.
Because he loves us. Because he loves them.
Bella Beach is a 17 year old student a Pacific Hills Christian School in Dural, Sydney. She is passionate about worship, justice, science and Harry Potter. Image credit: Caleb Frith
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Daily Reading Isaiah 26:1-6
1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
5 He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
and casts it down to the dust.
6 Feet trample it down—
the feet of the oppressed,
the footsteps of the poor.