Immersed in Christ: December 16, 2020
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Praise is an Experience
“Turn to me and be safe, for I am God.”
Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
There can be times in our life when we are tempted to ask Jesus, as John the Baptizer did, “Are you really the Savior, or should we look for another?”
John had as good a reason to doubt as anyone. Jesus had left him in Herod’s dungeon, probably without even trying to visit him. When we feel abandoned by God, we need to remember the obvious but often forgotten truth: God is not only all-powerful, but all wise and all good:
The creator of the heavens, the designer and maker of the earth.
He established it, not creating it to be a waste, but designing it to be lived in.
The best way to keep ourselves aware of this is to praise God for who he is. Listen to how he describes himself:
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light, and create the darkness
There is no other God, no just and saving God but me.
But it is not enough to listen; we have to express ourselves in response by praising God for what we hear and see. What we praise we will appreciate. Praise makes us aware that we know who God is and who we are. Praise is the first interaction in which we experience our relationship with God.
When we praise God, we realize that we are like him; that we understand what he has done and why he designed things to be the way they are. We experience ourselves as being kindred spirits with God. But to experience this we have to express it. Experience it becomes real in expression. Praise is the experience of conscious relationship.
In praising God we add to what we experience. We open our ears to see and hear more:
I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord—for he proclaims peace to his people.
Peace, truth, kindness, justice, glory, the fullness of life and salvation:
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven.
Our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps.
When we experience fear, anxiety, even apparent abandonment by God, and in spite of this praise him, we hear God saying: “Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other!”
Raise your voice and tell the Good News:
Behold, the Lord God comes with power.
That was Jesus’ answer to John the Baptizer: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard. Tell him to praise God for it. Then he will know I am the Lord, and there is no other, no just and saving God but me:
“The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
“And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
DAILY PRACTICE: Be aware. Praise God for the good you see, and your doubts will take care of themselves.
ADVENT PRAYER: “Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.”