* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here.
Wednesday: 10 December
Read: Isaiah 35
(Light two candles)
There is challenge with looking ahead and anticipating what God will yet do: we still have to live today. It’s not just the first-world problems, but the more substantive challenges that are common to all of us. While we wait for the day when God makes all things new, violence surrounds us, racism and classism divide us, corrupt politicians and law enforcement officials protect themselves, abortion whether at the beginning or the end of life is celebrated, greedy corporations and financial managers take advantage of us, war and sex scandals undo us, death is still with us.
And perhaps more sobering and more threatening, we are still entangled in our own sins. We discriminate against our neighbors because of the color of their skin, the accent in their voices, the smell of their food, the look of their clothes. We lie to co-workers, friends, and spouses in shame and fear that they will reject us if they discover what we have done. We are captivated by false images of bodies and success, seduced by the sirens of entertainment, addicted to all sorts of substances – some legal and more socially acceptable than others – and are prone either to think self-righteously about ourselves at the cost of others or to idolize others at the cost of our own well-being. We wonder how the joy of this passage is even possible?
In this Advent Season, we cry out in longing for the joy of this passage: God, our world is not the way it should be; and, we are part of the problem. Forgive us for the brokenness we perpetuate. Free all of us from the sin we are so deeply and thoroughly entangled in. Grant us the peace and joy of Isaiah’s deep-rooted assurance “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Lord, establish your peaceable kingdom in us and through us that we might rejoice in you, even here, even now.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that the light of your life may bring the unshakeable peace that causes all of creation to flourish! Amen.