Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Advent Words: E is for Evangel

E is for Evangel

Our word today is an old English word for the Gospel. The word evangel is derived from the Greek word euaggelion for the Gosple or literally God's good news. From this Greek word we get English words such as evangelist, evangelism and evangelical.

Isaiah was the Old Testament prophet who proclaimed the good news of the coming Messiah more than any other prophet. God gave Isaiah revelation and insight into His coming and what He would be like.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor."
Isaiah 60:1-3

The promised Messiah would come and redeem God's people, bringing them salvation and freedom. He would proclaim God's good news to those who were in desperate need. He would heal and mend those with broken hearts. He would free those trying to bear the heavy weight of the Law and release people from the bondage of sin. He would bring comfort to the grieving and turn their mourning into joy and praise. This redeemer would bring God's salvation to God's people.

Many centuries later Jesus would stand in a synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth, he would read this passage from Isaiah, and he would proclaim, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:16-21).  

On the night of Jesus' birth an angel of the Lord, shining in God's glory, appeared to some shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem. The angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

As the angel spoke those words of good news, Luke tells us that "a great company of the heavenly host" began to praise God saying,

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:9-14

All creation rejoiced at the good news of salvation arriving with the birth of the Messiah, the promised Redeemer! We still rejoice and praise God for the peace and salvation He brings to those who believe in the Anointed One, Christ the Lord.

Glory to God in the highest,
Glory to God evermore.
Good news, great joy for all.
Melody breaks through the silence,
Christ the Savior is born!
Jesus, the love song of God!
Chris Tomlin, Midnight Clear (Love Song)

Share your creative response to the Advent Words challenge in our private Facebook group  Join here:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wordschallengegroup/

If you belong to the Everyday Journal group that I co-lead with Valerie Sjodin and Bernice Hopper, Advent Words will be our theme for December.

Share on Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #adventwords2018.

Check out my Pinterest board for this challenge and see some of the wonderful and diverse creativity of Advent Words 2018 participants. https://www.pinterest.com/marynbtol/advent-words-2018-challenge/

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