Lent & Advent

Advent 2021: A Season Of Healing And Hope – December 5

Jim Hopkins

December 4, 2021

God’s Deep Compassion

Luke 1:68-79

Jim Hopkins
(Rev. Dr. H. James Hopkins is Senior Pastor of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church)

“Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us.”

John the Baptist is one of the most fascinating figures in the Bible. Born to Elizabeth and Zechariah, older parents who had long given up on the possibility of having children, he is named John (Greek for God Saves) at the command of an angel. He is taught by his parents that he had a sacred mission to fulfill, a divine name to live up to. He spent much of his formative years in the wilderness and was perfectly comfortable with eating what he could find there and wearing clothing designed more for function and comfort than for fashion. He was keenly aware that he was to be a “voice crying in the wilderness.”

At John’s birth his father sang a hymn known as the “Benedictus” for the Latin word that begins the hymn’s Latin translation. The hymn proclaims that John is an expression of “our God’s deep compassion,” a living being whose very existence is a promise that “the dawn from heaven will break upon us.”

Zechariah is clear. His son is an announcement that once again, and now in unprecedented ways, God is at work to heal our broken world. On this second Sunday of Advent let us consider the ways in which our lives, our families and our communities are broken. Let us believe that, even if we cannot yet perceive it, because of God’s deep compassion, because of the person John became, because of the Christ to whom John witnessed, healing has already begun.

God of compassion. Help us to be aware of the ways the dawn of heaven is breaking upon us bringing healing and hope. Amen.