Advent: December 8

Psalm: Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13

Lord, you poured out blessings on your land!
   You restored the fortunes of Israel.
You forgave the guilt of your people—
   yes, you covered all their sins.   Interlude


I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
   for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
   But let them not return to their foolish ways.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
   so our land will be filled with his glory.

Unfailing love and truth have met together.
   Righteousness and peace have kissed!
Truth springs up from the earth,
   and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
   Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
   preparing the way for his steps. (NLT)

In 1843, Charles Dickens introduced the world to the character Ebenezer Scrooge in his novella A Christmas Carol. Over the years, this tale has been changed, such as replacing the role of Scrooge with a busy female executive or having beloved Muppets attempt to help miserly Ebenezer. Although the way the story has been told has shifted since Dickens first penned the words, the story remains the same: stingy Ebenezer receives a wake-up call delivered in the form of three spirits showing him his past, his present, and his future.

For many, 2020 has been a wake-up call. The alarm has gone off, and while we haven’t been visited by the three spirits of Christmas past, present, and future, we have been urged and prompted to reflect on God in the past, in the present, and in the future.

In the past, we have received peace. In the present, in the midst of turmoil and chaos, we are still receiving peace. In the future, we will continue to receive peace. Indeed, God will give what is good, and we can trust that he will give peace.

We hold tightly yet tenderly to the sureness of God’s goodness and glory in the past, we acknowledge the present goodness and glory of God, and we look forward in expectation knowing that we will indeed see more of the goodness and glory of God. The past, the present, the future. By Christ, through Christ, and with Christ, we have peace in knowing God will indeed give what is good.

April Wahl – Middle School Director at Century Baptist Church in Bismarck, North Dakota; EYELET Member