Lent & Advent

Advent 2020 – December 9

Jim Hopkins

December 8, 2020

Total Commitment
Alean Saunders-Coffey, EdD
(Alean Saunders-Coffey is a member of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, CA)

Habakkuk 3:13-19 (NIV)

13 You came out to deliver your people,
          to save your anointed one.
          You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
          You stripped him from head to foot.
14 With his own spear you pierced his head
          when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
          gloating as though about to devour
          the wretched who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
          churning the great waters.
16 I heard and my heart pounded,
          my lips quivered at the sound;
          decay crept into my bones,
          and my legs trembled.
          Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
          to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
          and there are no grapes on the vines,
          though the olive crop fails
          and the fields produce no food,
          though there are no sheep in the pen
          and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
          I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
          he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
          he enables me to go on the heights.

There are times when, despite good intentions and considerable effort on our part, striving to do the right thing or totally investing in an idea, cause, individual, situation or activity does not achieve the desired outcome.

Gardeners are very much aware that—despite using healthy plants, premium soil, adequate water, growth nutrients and tender loving care—abundant blossoms, luscious fruit or verdant growth will not always materialize.  Weather, birds, insects, animals, and occasionally, passersby, prevent what is hoped for and are outside their ability to control.  Committed gardeners, however, remain faithful to the gardening process, and continue efforts to achieve successful results season after season.

Totally committed to God, the prophet Habakkuk led a lawless and arrogant people during troubled times.  A man of unwavering faith, through prayer and petition, he openly and honestly brought his questions and concerns to the LORD.  This passage reminds me of the chorus from gospel songwriter Clevant Derricks’ tune, Just a Little Talk With Jesus:
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus,
Let us tell Him all about our troubles,
He will hear our faintest cry,
He will answer by and by…

Are we open and honest enough in our relationship with God to question, petition and trust that He will be true to us, as did Habakkuk in his prayer?

We often hear these phrases, and sometimes we say them ourselves: 
“Let go and let God,” “Your will and Your way,” “Thy will be done.”  But how entrusting are we?  Although Habakkuk did not fully understand God’s plan or purpose, his faith was strengthened by a direct appeal to Him.  Habakkuk demonstrated his trust in God by his patience, recollection of how God had protected his people in the past, and conviction that God would again show them favor.  

In this Season of Advent, as we proceed toward the celebration of Christmas, let us:

  • Recommit to God’s plan and purpose for our world and its inhabitants,
  • Rededicate ourselves to the Creator’s design for our lives,
  • Renew our actions and practices that glorify God,
  • Rejoice in and be grateful for the LORD’s faithfulness.

LABC Zoom Gatherings

Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study – 10:30 a.m.

Together In Spirit – 6:00 p.m. Thursday

Holiday Letter Writing to those in detention – Thursday 7:15 p.m.

A Time For Prayer- 10:00 a.m. Saturday

LABC Worship – 10:00 a.m. Sunday

Adult Bible Study Class – 11:45 a.m Sunday

Blue Christmas Service – 2:00 p.m. Sunday

LABC Youth Group – 7:00 p.m. Monday