Thursday

Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his garment and saying, ‘Let’s go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ (v. 23)

Zechariah 8:20-23 Thursday 9 December 2021

Psalm 19

Background

We return to the prophet Zechariah for one last instalment this week. Immediately prior to today’s reading we have a continuation of the theme from Tuesday’s passage. Not only will the streets be safe for children and the elderly (as we learned on Tuesday), but the Temple will be rebuilt, people will work for a fair wage, there will be peace throughout the land, and the fasts that had marked Babylon conquering the Jewish nation and destroying the Temple will now become festivals of joy at the renewal of the people of God.

Though today’s reading still focuses on the place of Jerusalem as the centre of God’s new kingdom, there is more of a feel of future vision rather than imminent event. In this passage, Jerusalem and the people of God are not limited to one ethnic group. Instead, God’s kingdom is something that is open to all people, and which all people will want to join. This is why this passage is such an apt one for our journey through Advent. As we look to God’s kingdom coming in all its fullness, there is the good news that it will be open to people of all nations.

This passage poses an interesting question for our mission and evangelism. The image presented is not one of the people of God going out and bringing people in. Instead, the peoples of every language are drawn to Jerusalem and seek to attach themselves to the Jewish people of God because they recognise something appealing – the fact that God is with them. We might wonder how or when this will happen in our own situation. Our hymn for today (Singing the Faith 350, 'I cannot tell why he, whom angels worship') contains a helpful perspective:

"I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship…
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
and myriad, myriad human voices sing…"

To Ponder:

  • What does this passage say to you about the mission of the Church?
  • Can you recall someone whose life spoke deeply of their Christian faith? What was it about them?

Prayer

Loving God, fill us more with your Spirit that our lives can’t help but attract people to your great love. Amen.

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