2021 Advent Devotions

Isaiah 35:3-7 | December 8, 2021

Three Transformations
by Martha Lou Green

In the Bible reading from Isaiah today, we hear of three things that experience amazing transformations—‘wow!’ There are three kinds of changes, transformations that show that God is at work. This is what God does.

Land that had dried up becomes fertile and fruitful again. Flowers bloom and flowers mean fruit! In wise farming we must use restraint in taking from the earth and care in all our ways of living so the earth may be honored and our bodies kept healthy. Where dry deserts have crept over the land because of overuse or pollution, we hope for rest and restoring of the land.

People whose bodies were weak, feeble, or disabled become strong and full of life; and emotions that were worn thin and fearful become courageous again. When God comes to us to save us, he brings healing in his wings and he gives us his Holy Spirit to awaken us spiritually. He gives us eyes to see, ears to hear, and strengthens us to walk in his ways. But at that point, having been healed and awakened, we must get on board with God and travel in his way. Listen to the Messiah alto recitative for this sentiment. None of our bodies are super-powered. We are all human and we need each other. Help us to be aware and attentive to the ways we need assistance and advocacy and to the ways that each of us is a gift to others. May our community be a place of welcome, safety, participation and inclusion for everyone.

Water flows again abundantly where it is needed. All kinds of good things happen when there is plenty of fresh water, the life-giving Spirit of God. We know how important water is to us. We hear in your stories that water is often a symbol for you, God. You are essential for our life, just as is water. May we always know our need and thirst for you.

Prayer: Loving Creator God, you have filled the earth with amazing living things. We know we are dependent on the earth and its abundance for our life and nourishment. We pray for those whose lands have been overrun with hardship, where enough food cannot be found, especially because of injustice, war, or exploitation. May the transforming way of your kingdom come. We thank you for our lives and bodies. We pray especially now though, for those we know whose bodies are suffering, sick or struggling with pain. May your comfort and healing be close to them. We pray for the waters of our land, that they would be kept healthy and safe in your justice for all. We pray that we would be mindful of the resources of water for us and for others. Remind us of the basic need that unites all people through water and the basic justice that this requires of us all. Keep us safe and healthy. Amen.