1st Sunday of Advent 27/11/2016
Note to begin
Each day I will post a prayer (it will be the same one through the week starting on Sunday), a scripture and short meditation. The prayer and scriptures are taken from “The Revised Common Lectionary” found on the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
your advent alarms us.
Wake us from drowsy worship,
from the sleep that neglects love,
and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.
Awaken us now to your coming,
and bend our angers into your peace. Amen.
Isaiah 2:1-5 (ESV)
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
3 and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,[a]
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord.
We all like to fantasize about the future. We have been doing it most of our lives. When we are small it is just playing make believe. We pretend to be the people we think we will want to be when we grow up; at least we pretend to have the job we think we will want. As we get older it changes to thinking about how things could be if things just go our way, or how they could be if this one thing changes. Often times these flights of fancy are aroused by a difficult time we might be going through. It seems easier to think of how things could be than to face the reality of how things are.
The in-between, the now and not yet is a hard place to be when things are in strife and struggle. Dreaming about the future, fantasizing about how we want things to turn out can lead to futile attempts to manipulate circumstance in our favour and desired results. It can lead to an escapism that builds unintentional isolation from real people in the real world who may be able to carry us through those hard and difficult times. It can lead to an out and out denial that anything could possibly be wrong or broken.
As we hear the promise from God that He will establish His house. That He will teach His ways. That He will judge and cause peace to reign. That we will walk in His light. This is more than a day dream. This has happened in Christ and will come to completion in His return. It is solidly in the real world and should move us to pursue His house, His way and His judgement that will bring His peace and His light into the dark, hard and broken places in our lives. We do not need to escape but embrace this world because it gives us the freedom to trust what has and is to come.