Join the Crowd

Dec. 23, 2021

Scripture Readings

Crowds come ‘part and parcel’ in living through the busyness of the Christmas season. Standing in lines amidst those clambering to complete their shopping, is a fact we’ve become all too familiar with. If you’re one of those who leaves things until the last minute at Christmastime… well the last minute has come and you’re running out of time!

How fitting it is in today’s bible readings to find ourselves in the middle of the pressing throng of a crowd. In Ezra’s context a crowd assembled in confession, acknowledging they had disregarded the ways of God and wanted to make things right. They desired to return to a place of favour and blessing under the reign of their Father God. 

Their open confession challenges us, in these days, to make our relationships right, both with God and each other at Christmastime. Maybe it’s time to forgive another’s fault, forget a silly grudge, and enter into the fullness of the reality of Jesus’ coming to ‘make things right’ between God and mankind. If God was willing to reset the stage of humanity through the gift of his son, how can we but follow suit and take action in restoring that which has been broken in relationships around us?

Flip to the book of Revelation and we find another crowd assembled. This time it was 144,000 souls who celebrated their relationship with Jesus and Father God. Each in attendance was marked with the identity of God upon them, symbolic of their heavenly inheritance.

Especially at Christmas, we join with the throngs around the world, the world wide fellowship of those redeemed by Lord Jesus, celebrating his first advent, and eagerly awaiting the advent of his second coming. May we never lose a sense of our identity in Jesus and a spirit of unquenchable anticipation that finds us ready upon his return.

This is the God in whom we establish and declare our eternal hope. The Psalmist leads us in this refrain, echoed by the citizens of God’s family. With one voice we ‘Praise the Lord, O my soul… praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live… our hope is in the Lord our God, the maker of heaven and earth.

Now that’s a crowd you want to be part of!

Tim Beadle