With apologies who received it early, here’s a repost of Monday’s devotion. 

Read Isaiah 61:4-11

They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.  Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; but you shall be called priests of the LORD, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.  Because their shame was double, and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot, therefore they shall possess a double portion; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

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.  (NRSV)


From Rev. Joshua Patty, Fairmont Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; but you shall be called priests of the Lord. 

            We don’t always think about it in the bustle and stress.  We ignore the check-out clerk at the grocery; we grumble that the fry cook doesn’t move fast enough.  We wish the driver in front of us WOULD PICK A PARKING SPOT ALREADY!

            It’s not that we aren’t nice people.  But somehow the season of light and joy brings out our frustrations against them.  Don’t they know how busy we are!?

            Isaiah’s prophecy is about divine justice in the future – the day of the Lord.  But we don’t need to wait until the end of days; we are surrounded by strangers in our everyday lives.

            While we are out, putting together Christmas parties, buying Christmas gifts, eating a quick lunch, we are served by these strangers and foreigners.  Maybe we know some of them – friends of our kids – but not all of them.  And we wish they’d hurry up.  We have important stuff we need to do.

            Maybe those who serve us, feeding our flocks, growing and serving our food, should not be strangers and foreigners, but friends and co-workers – fellow priests of the Lord.

Gracious God, as I go about my daily tasks, make me less demanding and more encouraging of others.  Allow me to reflect the hope of your presence in this world. 

These daily readings are offered by the Order of Ministry

of the Christian Church in West Virginia for your Advent journey.

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