20 December
Exile: 2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Zechariah 9:9-17

When I was approached to write a blog for Advent. I thought of all the passages about the coming of the Messiah. Passages about angels, shepherds and wise men. I was very surprised to get these two passages as they do not immediately spring to mind at Christmas.

In the first passage in 2 Chronicles God has had enough of His people and He allows them to be conquered and taken into exile. In the second we see a passage we more usually associate with Easter. Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey.

Reading them through several times though, I was aware of the Hopelessness of the first passage. Hopelessness as the people of God are conquered and carried off into exile in Babylon with all the despair and sadness that that entailed. Hope in the second, with the king coming with salvation, riding into Jerusalem and proclaiming peace.

In 1970 as a sixth former I was in the German village of Oberammergau where a passion play is performed every ten years to thank God for delivering the village from the Plague in the 17th century. The whole village takes part in the play with shops shutting when the performance is on. In the scene where Jesus rides into Jerusalem all the villagers cheer and place palm leaves in front of Him. All these years later I still remember the Hope conveyed by the villagers representing the Jews in Jerusalem, a conquered people who would have been familiar with the passage in Zechariah. Longing for their Messiah to come.


Lord, thank You for your promise of Hope at this time, may we remember the great gift of Jesus and that He came to set captives free and bring Hope to the Hopeless. Amen

Sarah Martin

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