November 30, 2008am  Hope in the Potter   Isaiah 64

by Ron George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

   What is your Christmas wish?  What do you hope for?  As we begin this advent season, we have hope.  What do we hope for?  What does God hope for?  Isaiah gives us several clues as he speaks before the Lord in this prayer from the people.  What do you hope for?  Have you ever wondered what God hopes for? 
               What do people hope for Christmas?  Look at these letters to Santa: 
From:  http://www.growley.com/cmas/christmas/kids.html

Dear Santa,

I want all of the Bionicles that I don't have. That is the red one, green one, white one, and the blue one. I hope you will still have them. How is Rudolph doing? I hope you have a Merry Christmas!! I am 6 years old. Please make sure that all the boys and girls in the world are happy this Christmas especially those in countries where there is war.

Love,
John!!

Dear Santa,

My name is Ricky,but you probably know this already,Iam 12 almost 13.I didn't had to think hard what I wanted this year for christmas.I really wish for a mongoose Bike ,so that i can hang out more with my friends .I have a bike ,but I outgrew it and I thought maybe someone smaller then me could use it.
I also would like a playstation 2,my friends tell me how much fun they have on it.
I need some clothes ,too. They mean a lot to me .I get teased alot in school,because i wear sometimes the same clothes.I just don.t want to give my Mom everyday laundry,So no matter what I do , I get teased . I also wish you could stop the wars,Why is it that people just can't get along?
I know I didn't do to good in school this year ,but I'll promise to try harder .I hope most of my wishes can be made true. Merry Christmas ,

             Sincerely
         Ricky

Dear Santa,

   I am so excited about you coming to our house this year. We have put up the tree and the stockings. I think I have been a good girl this year. I hope you bring me a Barbie Singing Machine this year. I also hope that you can bring my daddy home for Christmas. He is in the Air Force and he is off fighting the bad people that hurt our Country. It would be very nice to have him home for Christmas. I will leave you milk and cookies again this year because you seem to really like my mommies cookies. I hope you stay warm and safe on Christmas Eve.

Your Friend,

Morgan

Dear Santa, My name is Cheyenne and I live in ___, MO. What I would like for Christmas is for my dadddy to make it back home from the Persian Gulf He is over there on the USNS Saturn. He has a very important job, he deliver's supply to all the ships that are fighting this war we are having. I just want him to make it home ok.
Thank You Santa
Cheyenne

Dear Santa,

I wish that there were more fun sites on the Internet like this one. Oh, and I also wish that my loved one in the Armed Forces stays safe in the Middle East.                 Thanks,
                   A good little girl

our parents are in the aif force and we got sent to germany--we have been extra good as we are not sure if santa will find us in germany--also we don't have a chimney for you to come down--so we were wondering how you will handle that...
chase & logan

      DEAR SANTA, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I HAVE BEEN GOOD AND BAD THIS YEAR, BUT MOSTLY GOOD. SANTA PLEASE TAKE ALL MY TOYS AND GIVE THEM TO THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. THEY HAVE LOST SO MUCH ALREADY. AND, FOR MY GIFT, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE PEACE ON EARTH. PLEASE TELL MRS. CLAUS AND ALL THE ELVES AND REINDEER I SAID HELLO. I WILL LEAVE YOU MACARONNI AND CHEESE AGAIN, YOU ATE IT ALL LAST YEAR. PLEASE STICK IT IN THE MICROWAVE. TAKE CARE SANTA, I LOVE YOU! RITA

hi i just want a suprise for Christmas but what do YOU want for Christmas                 bye keep on smiling :) :)              p.'s im a girl and my name is Ayla

Let’s remember what the symbols of Christmas symbolize.  The tree points toward the heavens.  The star remembers the star that showed the wise men the way to the newborn King.  The angels symbolize the heavenly announcement to the shepherds.  The wreath’s shows the unending love of the Father of all. 
            Santa Clause symbolizes the Father of all.  He is able to be everywhere.  He gives gifts to the children.  He cares for all.  He wants to shape our lives and cause us to be good for goodness sake.  He is coming.  We hope He is coming to our house.  We want to give Him gifts.  We want him to bless and help us in our sinful condition.  Let’s not throw out the symbols of Christmas but remember what they mean and remind our children and ourselves of the hope of Christmas.  What do you hope for this Christmas? 
            Isaiah spoke to the Father of Lights and asked for his Christmas wish.  He asked for God to come down to them and touch their lives.  Let’s ask what do we hope for this Christmas and not forget what God hopes for. 

Isaiah 64     Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! 2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! 3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. 4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. 5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 7 No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins. 8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever.  Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people.

What Isaiah hopes for?

  1. That God would come down.  (God did come down to us.) 

 

  1. That God would make His name known before all the world.
  1. That God would act on behalf of those who wait/hope for Him.

 

  1. That God would forgive and forget their sin to make Himself known.
  1. That God would be the Father and the Potter.

 

  1. That God would continue to work the clay.  I am the clay.
  1. That God would look upon them and not forget.

 

What God Hopes for?

  1. That we would want to see Him, know Him, and Believe in Him.

 

  1. The we would want to see His awesome acts in our behalf.
  1. That we would see Him as the only, true, and living God.

 

  1. That we would have hope in Him and wait for Him.
  1. That we would ask for His forgiveness and forgetfulness.

 

  1. That we would put our lives in the hand of the Potter.
  1. That we would be His people.  This is our choice.

 

What do you hope for? 
           

  1. Would we hope to see God come down?  (He has.)
  1. Would we hope to see His awesome acts?  (Have you seen?)

 

  1. Would we see Him as the only true, living God?
  1. Would we wait for Him and believe in Him?

 

  1. Would we ask His forgiveness and forgetfulness of our sin?
  1. Would we put our lives in His hands?  (the hands of the potter)

 

  1. Would we be his people?

 

We can rest contentedly in our sins and in our stupidities, and everyone who has watched gluttons shoveling down the most exquisite foods as if they did not know what they were eating, will admit that we can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.  From C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.
Pain is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and, for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads.  C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain. From  http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/p/pain.htm

 

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Is 64:1-9.