Blessed Are Those Who Wait

David Bast

Read: Isaiah 30:18-26 For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (v. 18) Waiting doesn’t appeal to us. We live in an instant society—fast food, instant downloads with powerful Wi-Fi, easy credit so you don’t have to wait to buy that new 70-inch OLED TV. Nobody is into delayed gratification; we want what we want and we want it now. Waiting is a waste of time at best; at worst, an unbearable …

Wait for the Lord

David Bast

Read: Psalm 27 Wait for the LORD, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! (v. 14) The Bible places a great premium upon the act of waiting. John Calvin, the great theologian, once said this: “It is contrary to the nature of faith to insist on the adverb now.” We cry out to God to fix our problems, to relieve our suffering, to rescue us from the mess we’re in (whether personal or global). We …

Bearing Witness

David Bast

Read: John 1:6-8 He came . . . to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. (v. 7) We all know and love the familiar characters of the Christmas story; we set them up each season in our Nativity scenes: Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, angels, and wise men, and, of course, the baby in the manger. But what about the characters of Advent? Are there any? There’s at least one—John the Baptist. John appears near …

Comfort My People

David Bast

Read: Isaiah 40:1-8 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (v. 1 KJV) Whenever I read this verse, I hear it as music in my head—the first words of Handel’s Messiah. For most of us that word “comfort” suggests relaxation or pleasure. We’re happy when we can put on comfortable clothes; we turn to comfort food to cheer us up. Or we may think of comfort as soothing, as when a mother kisses her child’s “owie.” But when …

Walking in Darkness

David Bast

Read: Matthew 4:12-17 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. (Isa. 9:2) “In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured . . . Galilee, [and] all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria” (2 Kings 15:29). This was the beginning of the end for the Jewish people, and the conquests started in the north, in Galilee. But Isaiah proclaimed a message of hope. The …

The True Light

David Bast

Read: John 1:1-9 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (v. 5) If you live where I do, the weather in December can be pretty depressing. The days are short. It’s usually cloudy. We sometimes go for weeks without ever seeing the sun. It seems appropriate that we should celebrate the coming of the Light into the world during the darkest time of the year (at least in North America). There’s a reason we …