Life-Giving Sustenance

Advent 3:  Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11;2-11
God is a change agent, transforming what was once barren into a blossoming, watered garden. When the people of Israel were living in exile, away from all that was familiar, they longed for a change, a return home, clinging to hope for renewal of life as they once knew it.
God is a change agent, transforming what was once burning sand into a pool of refreshing water. When John the Baptist was in prison, he wanted to know—is there any hope left? Am I here for good reason?
God is a change agent, transforming the physically disabled into ones who see and hear and dance and shout. We live in a world today where our news swirls with impeachment, cyber attacks, mass shootings and drug fueled violence.
The people of Judah and Israel, John and the followers of Jesus, you and I — facing desert conditions all around. Rocky and barren, waterless and forbidding, disabling and limiting, hope crushing.
But God is a change agent. Continue reading “Life-Giving Sustenance”

Bursting Forth

Advent 2: Matthew 3:1-12 and Isaiah 11:1-10
I hope you are enjoying your locally sourced Advent Devotional booklet. Last week the reflection was written by Dolores Ngatchou with a focus on where she found light in the darkness. This week you will enjoy an interview of Vivian Smith with a focus on growing in multiple ways. Our overall theme is “Where Hope Grows”. The truth is that hope grows in surprising places, in amazing conditions. You have watched it, I know. Sometimes it grows in places that seem inhospitable and difficult, but hope can be stubborn and strong. Hope for a change in a health condition for you or for a loved one. Hope for a child to turn around and walk a healthier path in life. Hope for a life that is filled with peace instead of discomfort and pain and fear. Hope in the face of difficult odds. Hope to make it to the United States through jungle and mountains and river and potential human danger. (point to the first Advent window). Hope is light piercing the dark days of our lives through the steady presence of a family member or a church family. (point to the second Advent window) Hope is a branch growing out of a stump, new life showing up to surprise you in a place you thought was dried up and dead.

Continue reading “Bursting Forth”