Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 4th Sunday-B

Read Isaiah 43:14-25

It seems to be a common human urge. To go back: back to some storied past, some Golden Age, those good ol' days that we seem to miss.

If the church could only become the way it was 40 years ago; if schools only would reinstitute prayer; if society could only go back to the "simple" life we all knew as kids. Those are the refrains we sing.

Now look at the song God sings to theHebrews in exile in Babylon:
'do not remember the past,
don't think about the good ol' days:
watch and see the new thing I do!'

Instead of parting the sea as before, God will build a highway through Death Valley. Rather than turning a rock into a drinking fountain, God will make living waters readily available; instead of freedom from slavery, God will take away their sins.

Will they notice, or grumble that "that' snot the way we have done it in the past"? Will they pay attention, or write another book about the Golden Age of Babylon? Will they sit at home waiting for God to pass over their houses, or will they be waiting at the station to board the trian?

We can spend a lot of time reliving the past, or we can move into God's future. What will we do?


It seems that we look in the wrong place for you, Holy One. We look backwards into the past for a glimpse of you, but you are out there ahead of us, moving forward, waiting for us to catch up. Help us to set down what we yearn for, and grasp what you want to give us - new hopes, new life, new joy. In Advent hope, we pray. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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