I can’t wait for Christmas!  And it’s coming soon!  As we enter November, most of our Advent plans are done and set, so maybe I’m ready earlier than most, but regardless, I’m ready.

I wish I could claim it was a deep theological thought I was excited about, but I just love the holiday.  The Advent waiting, the decorating, the carols, the food, the preparations, the fires in the fireplace…  Soon Isaac will begin asking for Christmas videos for his hour of screen time each day instead of Disney, Wiggles, or Veggie Tales.  And I’ll begin playing only Christmas carols on Spotify.

Jeremiah gives us one of those awesome Old Testament prophecies about Jesus that we don’t often use during Advent.  “In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;
he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.”

As we’ve been reading in this book for the last few weeks, Jeremiah has been prophecying that Judah will be taken captive by Babylon.  Because of their disobedience to God, their worship of false gods, and their injustice toward each other, Judah would lose God’s protection and be send by Him into exile in the far-away land of Babylon.  This was the consequence of their sin, and this was Jeremiah’s prophecy.

But God never ends His messages with doom.  He always promises peace and hope.  And so we come to this passage, a message of hope for the future of Israel.  Yes, says the Lord, I am sending you into exile, but eventually I will bring you home and give you a leader from the line of David.  Your punishment for your sin is to face the consequences of ignoring my warnings.  The blessing of hope is that you will be saved by “The Lord our Righteous Savior.”

Now THAT’S a Christmas present!

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