This week is the second Sunday of advent. One of the traditions that connect Christians to our history is the advent candle or rather the story it represents. The advent candle applications vary from camp to camp but the its’ basic purpose is to remember key aspects of the Christmas Story.
The first candle recalls for hundreds of years God said in over 300 ways: “I am sending you someone to get you out of the mess you made just because I love you so much”. Jesus arriving as a baby in a manger, was pivotal to the God rescue plan.
The second candle is called the Bethlehem candle and is associated with Faith. We think of Faith as another one of those invisible “nice to think about”, but “not sure what it really is” things. Scripture defines Faith this way:
Pleasing Faith chooses to take God at His word in the face of contradicting facts. This produces “substance” that, in many cases changes facts. The baby Jesus was the ultimate “substance” coming forth from God’s Chosen people taking Him at His Word that “someone was coming to fix this”. Their faith in the 300+ words of promise came to be, Immanuel, God with us.
Many, in spite of their acquaintance with and even believing in these 300+ words
of promise missed Him. They had expected a more spectacular deliverer. A splashy overthrow of their immediate oppressors, the Romans. Others, like the Shepherds, Anna
the temple prayers, and of course, Mary and Joseph were in the know. God was up to something much much bigger than just the immediate situation.
Faith pleases God
It says so in scripture.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Taking Him at His word, so the good things He desires for each of us can take on substance right where we live. Without Faith, this is hindered. The connection is blocked.
Pleasing Faith – Taking A Step
The journey to Bethlehem was necessary so that Jesus would be in the right place at the
right time in accordance with other prophecies. It had to do with Him being a part of the line of King David. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, had to be born in Bethlehem since this established His position as the coming King. His parents, by faith, made the journey to make this so.
Our daily choices, however mundane or simple, have an element of faith in them. Every choice we make is based on faith in something. These choices produce substance of some kind. When we adjust each faith choice to align with God’s desires, His pleasures are opened up to flow freely.
What will you do to make more pleasing choices in your “journey to Bethlehem?” I know I am working on this! Don’t forget to Subscribe!