2019 Advent Devotional: Sun, 12/8

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Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

Scripture: Isaiah 10:1-4

There is a piece of me that rejoices at this vision where justice is doled out to the unjust, where those who hurt, and harm are given their cosmic due. But the moment those feelings arise, I am haunted by the questions: how do I support iniquitous decrees and oppressive statutes? When do I turn aside the needy and rob the poor? Where do I make widows my spoil and orphans my prey? Why do I think myself separate or insulated from the imprisoned and the slain? What are the ways in which I seek war and build barriers?

In this time of Advent, when saviors are born in animal stalls and kings visit those living in poverty, we are urged to expect the unexpected, to dream of potentialities outside the norm, to place our faith in the possibility of transformation—not only externally, but internally as well. How can we live beyond limited notions of ourselves and others? How can we use our expectations to create space rather than foreclose it? How can we transform the stereotypes and judgements that contract us into outstretched hands of understanding and compassion that nurture love?

Prayer: God of hope and creativity, help us to use our expectations in the service of possibility rather than foreclosure, and give us the imagination to transform our impulses of contraction into outstretched hands of love. Amen.

~ Celene Lillie