Scripture Focus: Revelation 5.4-5
4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 

2 Chronicles 16.9

9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…

Reflection: One Worth Rejoicing In — Joy of Advent
By John Tillman

Asa started out so well and fell so far. 

Asa began as one of the great spiritual reformers of the Davidic line of kings. However, even though he is described as being “fully committed to the Lord” for his entire life (2 Chronicles 15.17), he definitely ended his life differently than he began his reign.

Later in his life, Asa’s theological and ceremonial religious reforms gave way to practical, political concerns. Eventually, due to faith in military power rather than God, Asa stripped the treasuries of the temple, purchasing military assistance. 

Asa justified his means by his ends. Asa’s heart hardened not only against God but against people. He became an oppressor of the people and imprisoned prophets who challenged him. Asa ended his life in bitter rebellion against God.

We have seen many leaders in the mold of Asa. Political and religious leaders who have begun as reformers. They win early, joyful victories and do good things but eventually are exposed as corrupt, cynical, immoral, or power-obsessed. They shrivel before our eyes like a diseased root. We may weep over the fall of these leaders or weep because we suffer under their abuse but there is a leader coming, the “Root of David” (Isaiah 11.1, 10-11; Revelation 5.5; 22.16), who will set all things right. 

As we weep for (or because of) unworthy leaders, we share tears with John, who wept that none were worthy to open the scroll in heaven. Before the seals were opened, the elder spoke to John and speaks to us: “Do not weep. The true root of Jesse, the root of David is coming!” We may weep while we wait, yet we can rejoice. 

The Lord is coming, who is our source of victory and joy. We are waiting for him and he is searching for us. The eyes of the Lord are looking for those who are humble, those who are committed to him, those who are weeping as they wait for him. If we humble ourselves, he will strengthen us.

May we be humble servants, not oppressors.
May we not grow proud of our own strength or fearful of others.
May we rely on God and his providence, not the machinations of this world.

Our joy is not in our own selves but in Christ. Triumph and joy are assured by the undefeatable identity of Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed. — Psalm 71.2

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Chronicles 16 (Listen – 2:51)
Revelation 5 (Listen – 2:39)

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