Baruch 5:5-7 (from the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical section of the Hebrew Scriptures)
Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the height; look towards the east, and see your children gathered from west and east at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them. For they went out from you on foot, led away by their enemies; but God will bring them back to you, carried in glory, as on a royal throne. For God has ordered that every high mountain and the
everlasting hills be made low and the valleys filled up, to make level ground, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God.
Devotion by Trish Greeves
One of my self-introduction data points is that I move every 25 years or so, – from Florida to Washington DC to Minnesota to Georgia. The constant through these and all the other transitions in my journey thus far has been the open invitation of God for me to stay centered in my Creator.
In spite of that gracious calling, I wander from that center. We all do this. When living in self-imposed exile, we encounter countless barriers to returning. The obstacles arise in many guises: physical, circumstantial, mental, all manner of religious and secular concerns, our busyness, etc. What are your biggest hindrances in returning to God as the center of your life?
These are the hills and valleys that God will level to facilitate our return. It’s not, however, like a board game with a clear beginning and conclusion. And there will always be stumbling blocks. God levels the road we travel by walking with us every step of the way.
These words of invitation to communion echo God’s continuing outreach to us:
Men and women, youth and children, come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and gather about Christ’s table. (UCC Book of Worship, p. 44)
Advent invites us to “Come, for all things are ready.”
Holy One, help us to know your sustaining presence every step of the way through the journey of life. Amen.