FOR FRIDAY, ADVENT II
“What ways are being prepared for you as you wait?” by the Rev. Dr. Joy Blaylock, Canon Missioner for Discipleship and Dean of the School for Ministry
I confess that I have seldom thought about what “ways” are being prepared for me while I am waiting. Waiting can feel like a temporary means to an end, a necessary part of moving through this world as we are all captive to chronos, our lives regulated by time.
As I reflect on the passages from Isaiah this week and the question for today, I am drawn to the promise “they will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, for the Earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.” Using my sanctified imagination with this verse, what if the ways being prepared for us have to do with ways that we will be set free from hurt and destruction? What if our waiting now is something sacred that God has entrusted us with not only for some fulfillment that we seek personally but for the greater connectedness of us all? What if the ways being prepared are to show us something we’ve never seen or heard before, never felt before, never imagined before?
It is easy for me to wait for things I long to happen. It is easy for me to imagine nothing but smooth pathways and enduring shalom. It is much deeper and more profound if I entrust my waiting to God and open myself to the possibility that in the waiting something will be revealed: knowledge of the Lord, of God’s Kingdom, of God’s mercy, will be shown in a different way, a way that may serve as a gift or balm for someone else. Suddenly, whatever is being prepared, I can now appreciate as a part of the bigger movement of God’s grace in this world as it transforms, heals, reconciles, or impels us together to a horizon free of hurt and destruction.
Reading for the week: Isaiah 11: 1-10
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
Collect for the week:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Join us this Advent as we explore what it’s like to wait! We are offering a collection of daily questions and reflections inviting us to consider what we experience and learn in our waiting, and how we find God - and God finds us - in our waiting.
Each Sunday a brief video will be shared on Facebook and Instagram to introduce us to a focus and reflection for the week. Each day a question will be posted for us to ponder. You are invited to share your own reflections by replying to these posts or reposting on your personal social media. Please follow and use #diocgcwaits. Be sure to follow our diocesan social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram; search: DioCGC.