O, Ahaz! Scion of the house of David. You’re like the part of me that loves the forms of faith, but shies from the substance of it. You want to be taken care of, but cannot bring yourself to trust what you cannot see.
This week’s theme is to “Tell the Good News.” Scriptures throughout this week will focus our attention to the coming Immanuel. Like family anticipating a new life, announcing the coming Prince of Peace is an important first step. And then we begin to prepare.
In the wilderness—a place that carries us away from our comfort zones and from material—we find answers. We find the radical kingdom that Jesus desires to see on earth—one of making ourselves less and God greater.
In this season of pandemonium and perpetual to-do lists, let us change the way we look at time.
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!”