FIRST FRIDAY IN ADVENT
FIRST FRIDAY IN ADVENT
“And again, I will put my trust in him.”—Heb. ii. 13.
Consider the Brother and Fellow-worshipper as also the Fellow-believer. It is fitting that the Fellow-worshipper should be the Fellow-believer; as Brother too he must also put his trust in God.
Make an act of faith in Christ’s trust in God even unto death, and examine your trust in him.
I — The Incarnate life a life of trust in God.
a.The writer has given his lessons in the form of quotations from David the suffering king, and Isaiah the representative prophet at a critical moment of history. By such illustrations he draws attention to the Messiah as realizing the sum of human experience, and as the fulfiller of the destiny of mankind.
b.The Incarnate life was the manifestation of perfect trust in God. It may be seen in his submission to the limitations and conditions of human life, domestic, social, national; in his prayers, his obedience to the Father’s will, his dependence on him; in his consciousness of mission, his independence of human judgments, his conviction of successful issue.
c.Isaiah trusted in God during Assyria’s tyranny, and led his brethren to put their hope on him (Isa. viii. 11-18. The quotation is from verse 17 Greek). Fit type of him who through the dark conflict with the world’s sin would neither compromise with the world, nor relax his trust in God in the failure of public ministry, and the hour of darkness and death; “My God, my God.”
II—Trust and faith.
a.Trust is the response of relationship. The Elder Brother has manifested for us the life of sonship; he who reveals the Father has lived under human conditions the life of filial trust, and lived it for his brethren, that united with him we too may respond to our new birth, “Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
b.Trust is the active expression of faith. This trust in God was neither fatalism nor credulity. On the one side it was voluntary, “I lay down my life”; on the other it was the consciousness of existing facts, “I know him, and if I should say I know him not I shall be a liar like unto you.” The Christian life possesses the gift of trust as the very prompting of the nature of our sonship. We cry, “Abba, Father.”
c.Christ himself is the conviction of the Christian’s trust in God. In him we see the perfected life of sonship. And we are to grow up into him in all things, as the younger brethren, In him we see what we are to become in realization and development, what we are even now in state (see 1 S. John iii. 2).
III —Christ and the Church’s faith.
a.The Church supported by the trust of Christ in God cannot fail. Her faith is the measure of her worship, the confident assurance of her continual approach to God; the Fellow-worshipper is the Fellow-believer, and against such faith the gates of Hades cannot prevail; they failed in the hour of his death.
b.And he is the guardian of the Church’s faith. To be ready to shed portions of the faith at the urgency of the world is to deny the verity of the Fellow-believer; the Church cannot believe other than he believes. When the faith seems failing, remember the great Isaiah, the preacher of “The remnant;” “Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh shall he find that faith on the earth” which always prays and never faints (S. Luke xviii. 8 and 1)?
c.How different is this truth of the Church as the embodiment of the Christ from the loosely held ideas of the Church! When faith fails and we seem to be losing trust in the Church, regarding it as a decaying power, then lift up the eye to the Fellow-believer, who holds all secure in himself, and speaking as the mouthpiece of the Church says, “I will put my trust in him.”