Over the past number of weeks I have planted many fruit trees, nut trees and berry bushes in some additional property that we have acquired. I know my role is the gardener who cares for the health of this piece of God’s earth. I plant with delight, hopefulness and anticipation.
To me, the journey of life is reflected in Isaiah 35: 1-10. What came to my mind while exploring this text was the mention of “wilderness” and how my experiences in the Rocky Mountains could relate. Climbing a mountain is an internal struggle as well as a physical one.
By this time in Advent, the stresses of final exams and papers are upon us. But long nights of studying will soon be replaced with nights of sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire and enjoying time with family.
In preparation for Christ’s coming, John encouraged people to repent and restore a right relationship with God. We should do the same as we prepare to honor Christ’s birth and the hope that this brings for all of us.
Do you have someone in your community that you don’t look like, talk like, share beliefs with, celebrate the same holidays, or has a different political view on social issues than you? If you do, then take time to celebrate that diversity – knowing that God is present in all cultures and people. During this Advent season, may the Holy Spirit bless you and your family with a sprit of unity and harmony.
The wonder of Advent, of course, is that we celebrate the ongoing arrival of this new vitality, even in the dark seasons of our lives. With the psalmist we pray, “blessed be God’s glorious name forever; may God’s glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen!”
The Prophet Isaiah told stories of a future when things will fit together nicely that don’t go together now. He said “the wolf shall live with the lamb” and “the calf and the lion together” and all these would be lead by “a little child.” The world will be pleasantly full of paradoxes. What a mystery of a place to live!
This week’s theme tells us that God’s kingdom is here. The passages highlight the coming of Jesus’ birth, from the story of John the Baptist to Old Testament scripture foretelling the birth of a Savior.
We are asked to prepare for the Lord, to “be ready” for the day the Lord comes. Faith is our best preparation. Faith that God will deliver us from evil. Faith that God is always near. Faith that God has a greater plan.
Have you encountered this God of the mountains, the valleys, the animals and the storms—the God of the universe? The God of it all who, in all His glory, still wants a personal relationship with you.