God, the Eternal Giver; humankind, the eternal receiver. This Advent we receive once again the amazing gift of God’s love. A gift we could not give ourselves: the gift of God incarnate. And God’s glory fills the whole earth.
It was a stunning moment. Seven children, ages four through twelve, sat around the low table in little chairs drawing expressions on empty paper faces with crayons and talking about God. Little B said, “When I close my eyes, I can see God!”
“Really?!” I responded to him with big, surprised eyes. And then, just to throw a twist into the conversation, I asked him with a sly smile, “What does she look like?”
“No!” he exclaimed to me, indignant.
“No? What, then?” I asked.
At that, he closed his eyes, lowered his face into his hands, looked at God for a moment, and murmured, “All the beautiful colors. God looks like all the beautiful colors.”
Young M, sitting next to B, said to herself mostly, “God is a shining ball of light.”
Psalmists and theologians surround us. Given a chance to write a song or draw a picture or dance a step or tap a rhythm about our God “who does wondrous things,” the less inhibited among us have an easier time of it. For this, the hymnist writes, “Little children praise you perfectly, and so would we.” Blessed be the God of Israel.
Glorious God, we would bless your name forever. May your glory fill all the earth, and may it fill my life this day. Amen.
The Old Testament roots of Advent hope are cast in royal imagery. The psalm marks the king as one whose work is to bring justice to the weak. The new king makes a new world possible. The Gospel reading is both invitation and warn- ing that we must make concrete decisions to reorder our life in ways appropriate to God’s new intention. Characteristically Paul makes the grand, sweeping claim: The new behavior appropriate to God’s new governance is that the strong and the weak, the haves and have-nots, relate to each other in new faithfulness. Advent is spent pondering speci c decisions about bringing our daily life into sync with God’s rule.
• Read Isaiah 11:1-10. When do you allow yourself “fallow” time? How does that time of “resting” nurture your fruitful- ness?
• Read Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19. This prayer for the king expresses the qualities that the people desire in a leader. What would you add to the list?
• Read Romans 15:4-13. Paul notes that Christ welcomed you for the glory of God. Consider the last several months: Whom have you welcomed for the glory of God?
• Read Matthew 3:1-12. What is growing in your heart’s wil- derness this Advent season?
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