Flesh and Glory

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word. (v. 1) “In the beginning . . .” Words familiar to us, words we’ve heard before. The book of Genesis and the book of John begin the same way: “In the beginning.” Like the opening of Genesis, when “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” the “In the beginning” of John’s Gospel alerts us that what we are about to read is an account of a new …

The Nearness of Salvation

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. (v. 9) Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us! The psalmist knows God’s track record. In the past God has been favorable and merciful to his people, relenting from anger and forgiving sins. The psalmist listens for God’s word, God’s word of peace to his people, for the psalmist believes …

Redemption’s Arrival

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : Luke 1:46-55 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. (v. 50) Step into Mary’s prayer room with me. God is not only turning Mary’s world, but the entire world, upside down. Mary is bursting with God-news. She is dancing the song of God, her Savior. “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (vv. 46-47) sings the mother of the One in whom God’s best promises to …

The Coming of God’s Son

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : Luke 1:26-38 And behold, you will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. (v. 31) How does God come to us? In this season we await the inbreaking reign of God. The prophets have given us glimpses of how it will be when Christ comes: the poor will have the good news preached to them, the brokenhearted will be made whole, the captives will experience freedom, prisoners will be released from their darkness, the mourning …

The Coming Light

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! (v. 3) In Advent we anticipate the coming of the One who will restore us. In Advent we wait for the One whose face will shine upon us. In Advent we long for the One who will save us. The passion of the Psalmist’s prayer cuts to the deepest sense of our longing: “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that …

Waiting for God

Jill Ver Steeg

READ : Isaiah 64:1-9 No eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (v. 4) Each of us has experienced the hard task of waiting. Waiting for “the news,” waiting in line or on hold, waiting for someone to change, waiting in lament, or waiting in hope. The words of Isaiah 64 rise out of a people who are waiting for God. Though they have returned home physically, the feeling of exile is …