Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 3rd Thursday-B

It's the silence that gets to us.

Someone is mad and speaks their mind, and then doesn't say another word, while the silence stretches between us;

we've hurt a friend (and know it) and we say 'sorry' (and mean it). And when we stop talking (so they can graciously accept our apology), the pause goes on and on.

The silence had to have gotten to the people of God. The long pause in the conversation with Yahweh kept going on and on and on. The last word was about judgment, about Babylon, about exile.

And then silence.

And now, after some 160 years, God speaks again . . .

Read Isaiah 40:1-11

The sound of silence is broken with words of hope, of joy, of new promise.

To a people in exile, God comes to be with them in their lostness;

to a people who weep by the rivers flowing through Babylon, God comes singing of comfort and hope;

to a people who open the newspaper every day and read the bad news on every page, God comes bringing the good tidings (gospel) that freedom is at hand;

to a people who believed that God's final word was 'you're fired!', God comes saying, 'I'm not done with you yet.'

To all of us who are overwhelmed by the silence of the world, God comes with lips singing of joy and arms to gather us up and carry us home.


Break the silence which weighs us down, Comforting God, with your joyful good news that you are in our midst: to restore, to give hope, to lead us into your kingdom. In Advent joy, we pray. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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