Isaiah 61: 8-11
For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
Reflection by Janet Derby
Have you seen all the 2020 Christmas ornament advertisements? Many of them are toilet-paper or mask themed and some look like word clouds. There is certainly no lack of options for pandemic related items. It has been a year to remember – or perhaps forget. We are all yearning for life to get back to “normal”. Because of that, the season of Advent seems particularly appropriate this year. The passages we generally read from Isaiah take on deep meaning as we look to a better time to come. We are anxious for 2021 to bring justice for people of color and others who have been persecuted. We await the arrival of a vaccine which will allow us to again gather as a community. Isaiah reminds us that the time is coming when we can rejoice as the earth will be renewed as it brings forth its shoots. Even in the dead of winter, we can anticipate the new growth that spring will bring.
Renewing God, help us to be patient as we await the time when righteousness and praise will spring up before all the nations. Amen.