Psalm 42; Zechariah 8:1-17; Matthew 8:14-17, 28-34
Do you all remember the jingle from the Doublemint Chewing Gum commercial? "Double your pleasure? Double your fun. Doublemint, Doublemint chewing gum!” Such is the place my mind went as I prepared for today’s devotion.
Matthew’s gospel lifts, "When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him.” (Mt. 8:28)
Matthew’s gospel is characterized by “doublets”…meaning the writer of Matthew has doubled or expanded the characters in some of the gospel witness when compared to the other gospels. Exploring why Matthew does this is not my intention. My intention is much more existential, "Where do you find hope when you are eye-ball deep in demoniacs (doubled)?” “Where do you find hope when the load becomes a burden (doubled)?” Where do you find hope when the unknown and your own anxieties escalate (doubled)?
As our winter days grow shorter and our nights grow colder, the words of the Psalmist find resonance in our realities, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?’” (Psalm 42:1-3) What happened to “double your pleasure…double your fun”?
As we journey through this season of Advent, as the demoniacs double, the loads become a burden, and the unknowns and anxieties intensify, hear the word through the prophet’s voice, “I have purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah”. (Zechariah 8:15). The Advent journey points us to the horizon. It points us to the manger. It directs us to hope…a hope we embrace right now as we anticipate its arrival.
By: Rev. Douglas Cue