Saturday after Ad te levavi, The First Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (NKJV)
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.'”
As we come to the end of this first week of Advent, we hear again of God’s promise. This time He speaks of raising “up for them a Prophet like [Moses].” Over and over, we hear God speaking a Word of Promise to His people. With every Advent, we are reminded how our God deals with His people. He deals with them based upon His promise. He promised Adam and Eve that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. God blessed Noah and his sons and promised to never send another flood. God blessed Abraham and promised, “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” Through Jacob, God blessed Judah: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah.” The Word of God given through Balaam reiterated the blessing bestowed on Judah.
As we know from Scripture, God kept that promise by sending His Son. Jesus came into this world and took on our flesh, lived a perfect life, died a perfect death, and rose again from the dead. Now, through faith in the promise of forgiveness of sin for Jesus’ sake we are saved from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Furthermore, we have Jesus’ promise of His final Advent. Jesus promised to come again and take us to be with Him in Paradise.
And then there is now. We also have this promise: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Jesus keeps that promise through His Word and Sacraments. Through His Means of Grace, Jesus comes to us with His promised forgiveness of sins and the assurance of life eternal with Him.
Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel. Amen.