Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
Stockings and garland, tinsel and lights …
wreaths and candles, ornaments and evergreen boughs,
embroidered linens, mistletoe, poinsettias,
decorated confections and steaming hot mugs of chocolate and coffee
… what can we do this year more beautifully inviting than ever before?
We have already considered, in years gone by, that perhaps our Christmas celebration is not so fully commercial-ized as it is an acceptable time and a safe cultural place to let the extravagant elbows of our nature have a little room. Not too many of those who can afford miles of lights and piles of presents have always been in that space, but most of us have always found a way to make a few family festivities merry and bright, Christmas certainly not least among them.
With all our celebrating, we have shared the rewards of faith far and wide, serving and giving, praying for and loving others, glad to ask no recompense but the Lord, Himself. With this first Advent candle, to be lighted this evening, perhaps at the dinner table or when the family gathers afterward, and with each flame each night between now and Christmas Eve, we will extol together the treasuries of the Lord our God, our great Reward, in His Person and His promises. He has spoken things so sweet, so strong, so sure, that to take Him at His Word is, actually, to live, and live forever.
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Gen. 15:1
He! … He is Himself our great reward! He says it, He tells us so in many places in the Scripture:
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Rev. 22:12
What is that work?? Oh, tell us quickly that we can be ready when the party starts:
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29
He, oh He is our reward and the wealth inside is this, that all we could never do to save ourselves and to prosper in our souls has been done in Him. Ours is to believe and to live out the faith we have been given. All our celebrating has nothing to do with the trappings of Christmas, except that we do celebrate with tremendous joy. We have been given faith in God and love for His people, lived out all 365 days each year, fêted in dozens and hundreds of opportunities to share with others the reward that He is and has become to us.
. . .the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you.
Job 22:25, NIV
SAY, IF YOU WILL, TONIGHT, “LORD, YOU ARE MY SHIELD AND MY VERY GREAT REWARD. YOUR LIFE IS RECOMPENSE FOR MY FAITH, AND YOU ARE THE RICHES OF LIFE FOR ME.”
William Cho, by permission