Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 2nd Sunday-B

Read Isaiah 9:2-7

Other than Luke 2:1-14, this may be the most familiar of all the Advent/Christmas passages used by the church. Normally read on ChristmasEve/Day, this beloved poetry helps us to celebrate the birth of the One we call the Christ Child.

And then, like the ornaments on the tree, we put the passage back into its box and store it up in the attic, or down in the basement, to wait in the darkness until it is needed next Advent and Christmas.

But like the Beatitudes, Psalm 23, 1 Corinthians13, and others, isn't this one of those passages that we should read every week in church, if not every day in our private devotions?

After all, is Christmas Eve the only time we find ourselves stumbling in the darkness of our culture, groping our way as we try to find the Light switch?

Is Advent the only season when we hear the boots trampling on the oppressed, when the burdens of our lives stoop our shoulders, when we yearn for that peace which will never end?

Is Christmas Day the only time we need counsel from God; the only day we think justice should be upheld in our society; the only moment we can remember why it is God came to us in that tiny Babe?

Maybe, like the new covenant another prophet speaks about, we need to engrave these words upon our hearts, so they are not just a once-a-year reminder of what God has done for us, and continues to do, in the Child who has been born for us.


Holy God, may your passion continue to be multiplied in our lives, not just one day a year, but on all the ones which follow. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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