Ho, everyone who thirsts,
I woke this morning to news that a large portion of the schools in the area were closed because of snow. But there was no snow... yet. My facebook page was filled with status updates that read, "When I was in school there had to be actual snow in order to have a snow day."
And as I poured my second cup of coffee I wondered what would happen if it didn't snow. What would the administrators do/think about that? And somewhere along my trek from the kitchen back to my sofa and blanket, it began to snow. 8am.
At 8:20am, it looked like this.
It didn't happen like that for Isaiah. The word of the Lord didn't return fulfilled in a 20 minute turnaround. The prediction of God's purposes working together stayed a prediction... or did it?
It's midway through Advent that I struggle to hold onto the meaning of Christmas. 2000 years after Jesus' birth, I wonder what new birth are we looking for - again and again. I wish for a sense of longing while I sit in my warm home with my second cup of coffee. I want to feel the longing of those who predicted fulfillment, who believed in shalom.
I wish to know the third writer of Isaiah. Was he (presumably he) a person of great faith? In what ways did he cherish the tradition passed down to him? Was he distracted at times by the daily routine of his world? What made him see the coming of God or the presence of God as a real thing to want? And what gave him the courage to say it aloud?
How do I, midway into December on Advent 3, come closer to the felt reality of Isaiah and his prediction of an everlasting covenant, of seeking God and finding God, of God's purposes being fulfilled? An article by Deacon Greg Kandra about the "war on Christmas" might be helping.
The real war on Christmas is the number of people who will go without food and adequate housing. The real war on Christmas is the teenage girl who has been thrown out on the street by her parents because she is pregnant. The real war on Christmas is the stranger that will not be welcome just because he looks different than the rest of us. The real war on Christmas is the fact that most Churches will be virtually empty on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day yet the retail outlets will be jam packed. The real war on Christmas is that we choose to focus on the nonsense while our Christian brothers and sisters around the world are being killed for no other reason than they are Christian and we stand by and do nothing! That is the real war on Christmas.
For those things, I long for fulfillment of God's purposes. I hope for and wish for God's presence to rain down. And like Isaiah, I've seen the sky open up and water the earth. I will draw faith from what I have seen as I believe for what I want to see.
This image taken at 8:30am.
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