Advent Devotionals - November 30th

“Alleluia, Alleluia. Show us thy mercy, O Lord: and grant us thy salvation. Alleluia.”
The Psalmist, whether known to us or anonymous, shows the worshipper how one is to approach the Lord, God. He begins by acknowledging who He is by uttering, usually singing, a short Doxology, an appropriate hymn of praise to God. He opens with “Alleluia, Alleluia” which may more often be more familiar to us as “Hallelujah, Hallelujah” meaning “God be praised” then followed by the petition, or more plainly the request. 
The Psalmist’s request, recited by an untold number of Jewish faithful and adopted by the Church since the first century by virtue of the Jewish followers of Jesus Christ, falls into two well known categories for any Believer: mercy and salvation. Like con-joined twins, they cannot be separated, one from another, without doing great harm to both. How mysterious it is that mercy is the precursor of salvation and salvation is the ultimate fulfillment of mercy but mercy may not always lead to salvation. Such being found in the parable of the unjust servant who received mercy and forgiveness from his master but in turn did not show it to his fellow servant.

The season of Advent is an excellent example of the fulfillment of the worshipper’s petition for mercy and salvation. For our benefit we may describe mercy as an “outward manifestation of pity (or compassion); assuming the need on part of the one who requests I and the adequate resources on part of him who shows it.” What better way is there to see this than in the coming, the advent, of He who is mercy, pity, compassion incarnate. The Lord, God of both heaven and earth answers the cry of his people and enters our world in the person of his Son, Emmanuel, “God with us”. 
He who is revealed to be mercy incarnate has come to his people that they may ultimately be delivered/saved from that which has caused to cry out for mercy in the first place. It is our short-sightedness that keeps God’s people from understanding that their need for mercy and salvation goes much deeper than our perceived worldly circumstances. The Advent of the Savior is to be the once-and-for-all remedy for our pain and misery.

Advent should be experienced in the light of expectation and joy because He who sits enthroned on High has heard our cry. Maranatha! “O Lord come!” Amen.

Deacon John

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