I love this advent hymn, especially verses two and three. As I discussed in my first post, we can draw near with confidence to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. Here we see what happens when we fail to draw near, for “without Your grace we waste away like flowers that wither and decay.” I know there have been times I have felt “withered” but His grace abounds – and is there for the asking!
Verse two is really ripe for contemplation: Prepare to be the home where such a mighty guest may come. Jesus lives in our hearts! The Holy Spirit dwells in us. How do our hearts look? What is lurking in the shadows of our hearts that we need to clean out, in order to be the proper home for such a mighty guest?
It is often just overwhelming to me to think that God lives IN ME. As Paul says in I Cor. 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” What kind of home am I providing? How about you? How will this change how you act, react, and even what thoughts you ponder today? Let’s examine ourselves. As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ coming to earth, let us also celebrate that we have a helper from the Father who is “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 4:17)
On Jordan’s Bank
by Charles Coffin
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Awake, and listen, for he brings
Glad tidings from the King of kings!
Let every heart be cleansed from sin;
Make straight the way for God within;
And so prepare to be the home
Where such a mighty guest may come.
For You are our Salvation, Lord,
Our Refuge, and our great Reward.
Without Your grace we waste away
Like flowers that wither and decay.
To heal the sick, stretch out your hand,
And make the fallen sinner stand;
Shine out and let your light restore,
Earth’s own true loveliness once more.
To You, O Christ, all praises be
Whose advent sets your people free;
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Spirit evermore!