December 20, 2016

Hope for Restoration

Zephaniah 3:14-20

The Lord your God . . . will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

—  Zephaniah 3:17

In this season of Advent, we wait and hope for the coming of Jesus Christ. We hope in two ways: both for his second coming and for the celebration of Christmas. When we hope for Christmas, we remember that we needed a Savior and that God sent his Son, Jesus, to become human for our salvation. We hope to celebrate that first coming and the salvation we have in Jesus.

Because of the wrong that we do, God would be right to rebuke us. God would be right to punish us for our sin. But in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God offers us salvation instead. These words from the prophet Zephaniah point to the hope of salvation we have in Jesus. They point to the way God restores us in Jesus. Instead of rebuking us, Zephaniah says, the Lord rejoices over us with singing. Like a mother singing a lullaby to her baby, or like the winner of a contest singing a victory song, God rejoices over us with singing.

The birth of Jesus is God’s greatest love song for his people. In Advent we sing a song of hope because of this love song from God. We sing a song of hope because of the restoration God brings to us in Jesus.

Do you hear God’s love song for you today?

Lord, we deserve your rebuke for the wrong we have done. Thank you for responding instead with a song of rejoicing over us. Give us hope because of your love for us in Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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