read: “Your God will come; with vengeance, with divine retribution, your God will save you!” -Isaiah 35:4
reflect: Isaiah proclaims that when all is made right again, it will be because God comes. At Advent we anticipate the coming of God. We remember that God came to us in the flesh as Jesus Christ, once a baby laid in a manger. The sentimentality and nostalgia that fill us when we think about the baby Jesus do not prepare us for the strong, arresting words of Isaiah. Isaiah says that when God comes, it is with outrage, not sweetness.
Our Judeo-Christian faith does not image God as sitting idly by, waiting for the evils of this world to pass someday. Our God is moved to anger at the injustices that humans perpetuate. God comes down, to effect history, to change the course of the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” That is because God bends it.
pray: Come down, O God, and save us, no matter what disturbance you need to create to make us whole again, even if it disrupts my own life. Amen.
with children: Ask kids about what is fair, and what is not fair, that happened in their day. Instead of saying “life is not fair,” talk about how God works to give everyone a fair life, and even more than that, double what anyone deserves. That is what God does for us in Jesus.
act: Write a letter to your representative about an issue you feel strongly needs to be addressed in our community.