Second Sunday in Advent

O Key of David and sceptre of Israel,
what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open.
O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. (20th December)

In our days, we are familiar with many types of darkness – addictions, fears, anxieties, sickness and depression. We see this in ourselves and in the ones we love. For many, not only are these areas of darkness, but they are also areas of imprisonment. And for all of us, our sins can keep us imprisoned. We feel that things have been taken out of our control and there is nothing we can do about it – we are stuck. Surely, we all experience this in some measure. There is a huge restlessness within; a longing for wholeness and healing. And often, it is more than restlessness. We have the sense of being trapped, or being bound up.

The title for Jesus that we look at today, as we prepare for His coming at Christmas, is that of a liberator. He comes to undo, what we are unable to undo for ourselves. When we are captive and in the darkness of whatever imprisons us, we need someone to release us – we are unable to do it for ourselves. Jesus is the One who comes to liberate us from all that ties us up and restricts our inner freedom. When we call on His Name with faith, He is with us – that is what His name ‘Emmanuel’ means (I am with you). When we hand over to Him the darkness in our lives and invite Him in, He works on opening up the wounded areas. This may be painful at the time, but it is only in Him that we can find freedom.

This is brought our beautifully in Psalm 90 – He frees us and protects us when we call out His name and He assures us that He is with us.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him,
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls, I shall answer, ‘I am with you’
I will save him in distress and give him glory. Ps: 90:14,15
And so we pray:
Jesus, we accept You as our Saviour and Lord. We invite You into the areas of our lives where we are imprisoned and ask You to liberate us and heal us. Amen.