Advent Reflection: The Song I Most Want to HearDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
"For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
As a father, I love to hear my children sing. This would be true even if my kids couldn't stay on pitch to save their lives. But, in fact, I'm blessed with two teenagers who are amazing singers. One of the proudest moments of my life was when my kids were featured in their high school's presentation of the musical Les Misérables. My heart swelled even though my daughter, as Factory Girl #5, was taunting poor Fantine and as my son, playing Javert, intoned the anguish that led to death. I am tempted to say that the song I most want to hear is anything sung by my children.
But there is another song for which I long even more. It is described in the Old Testament book of Zephaniah. There we read, "For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." In the day of God's salvation, there will be singing, both by those who have been redeemed and by the Redeemer.
Even more amazing than the picture of God's jubilant singing is the subject of his songs: you! In context, "you" refers to the Israelites who finally experience God's long-awaited deliverance. Yet when, through Christ, we become God's beloved children, when we experience his deliverance from sin and death, then we are caught up in the stirring image of Zephaniah 3:17. God doesn't just save us and forgive us. He doesn't just accept us and welcome us. He also delights in us, even rejoicing over us with a joyful song. Now that's the song I would like to hear most of all! I expect that someday, when we are in the Lord's presence, we will hear his song of joy over us. What a moment that will be!
In the season of Advent, we get in touch with our hope for the future. We yearn for the time when God makes all things right, when he wipes away every tear, and when we experience his love and joy in an unprecedented way. For the most part, Advent is a serious season of waiting and expectancy. Yet, the third weekend of Advent encourages us to rejoice as we taste a bit of the joy of the future. Perhaps, as we sing the glad songs of this season, we might even get to hear a whisper of God singing over us.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you ever thought of God as rejoicing over you? How does the image of Zephaniah 3:17 affect you? What difference would it make in your life if you really believed that God delights in you?
PRAYER: Lord, every time I read Zephaniah 3:17, I am stunned…and deeply moved. What an amazing picture of your delight in your people!
Thank you that we have begun to experience the salvation of the future through Christ.
Thank you for living among us by your Spirit.
Thank you for being our mighty savior, for breaking the power of sin and death and offering us new life.
Thank you for calming us with your love, a love that casts out all fear.
Thank you for delighting over us with gladness, even rejoicing over us with joyful songs.
In this season of Advent, may my waiting be joyful as I think of the song I most want to hear. Amen.
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