10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.Isaiah 61:10-11
Happy November! Another year is swiftly coming to a close. The church year ends Nov. 27th. Advent begins Nov. 28th. This is the first Sunday of the church calendar. The lectionary (Sunday morning readings) for the church rotates on a three-year cycle and we’ll be entering Lectionary Year “C.” This is not significant to most of us, but it is a sign of God’s work through the year and of the cyclical nature of life.
We live in a linear time frame. Everything has a beginning and an end. Seasons begin and end, lives begin and end, years begin and end. God, however, has no beginning and no ending. He is beyond time. He has given us “time” as a gift and seasons to help us mark the years and passing of time.
The passage above from Isaiah sounds like a springtime passage more than an Advent (preparing and anticipating) passage. However, during advent we are beginning again. We are starting the new church year and we focus on remembering and anticipating the coming of Christ. These are pivotal changes. “…as a garden causes what is sown to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.” God is growing righteousness and praise. And he is starting in your own heart. From there he will spread righteousness and praise to all nations. This is God’s action, his will. He will do what he says he will do. And we get to ride along and watch him work.
As we enter the new church year, the Season of Advent, we will remember what God has already done for us, and we will anticipate the completion of his promise in the kingdom to come. God will spring up righteousness and praise. Lift up your voice in thanksgiving! Lift up your praise to the Almighty! He has made you his own and he is making you into his righteousness and this fills you with praise!