Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on December 22, 2014.
Prayer: Help us to see a glimpse of things to come, God. Amen.
Reading: Isaiah 61:10-62:3 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Christmas is just days away. What are you dreaming about? Gathering with family and friends, gifts given and received, worship and wonder…all dreams of those who have waited through the weeks of Advent. Our minds are still a flurry with planning and preparing and we look toward the peace of the actual day of Christmas finally here – ready or not.
Yet, in the midst of the joys of this season, nightmarish things are happening in our communities, our country and our world; sometimes even in our own homes and friendships. Before we despair with, “What is our world coming to?”, let us remember Isaiah’s message which can mean as much to us today as it did to the Israelites so long ago.
Isaiah gives us a glimpse of things to come when all our best dreams will come true. Isaiah describes a new beginning, a time of final triumph and peace. In that day, there will be no need for tears. The prophet’s words are so purposeful and powerful, Old Testament Isaiah is quoted in New Testament Revelation and some phrases are used in common language still today – (“beat their swords into plowshares”).
We dream of a time of peace, without pain or fear or disease or death. Isaiah assures us that one day those dreams will come true. What would you most like to see changed about your world? May the celebration of the birth of Jesus be a beginning of your dream being fulfilled. --Ruth Gates
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