Friday, December 09, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 2nd Friday-B

Read Isaiah 19:19-22

As we prepare for Advent, are we prepared
for God to do something new and unexpected?
Or should God only operate according to
what we expect?

As we ready ourselves to celebrate the grace
which came down at Christmas, are we ready
for God to pour out that grace on others,
especially the people we don't like?

As we anticipate the birth of the One who
comes with healing in one hand and hope
in the other, can we accept the notion that
the Babe might want to offer those gifts
to people who have hurt us?

Isaiah tells us this is the way God operates.
Unexpectedly, gracious to all, willing to
heal even those who have caused us pain.

Egypt (you mean the Egypt that enslaved the
Hebrews, who worked them to death, who would
not let them go free) will be delivered, just like
the Hebrews, just like us.

They will find themselves, the prophet tells us,
in a time of oppression. And they will cry out.
And when they cry out, God (as God seems to do
to everyone who cries out) will hear and will
respond, And then (just like the Hebrews, just
like us), they will know God, they will worship
God, they will make promises to God.

And there is more - God will heal them as well.

Why? Because that is what God does.

Yes, God can judge; yes, God can smite; yes, God
can destroy.

But best of all, God listens, God delivers, God
restores, God heals, God loves.

The Hebrew children who were oppressed;
the Egyptians with their history of oppression;
even us.

Listening, delivering, restoring, healing, loving.
Now that's something to prepare for!


Heal us, Restoring God, for we cry out to you.
Weighed down by the desire for more, oppressed
by narcissim, driven to distraction by the demands
of our culture - hear us and set us free. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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