Isa. 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.


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

            When I was a kid, I remember being picked on at school.  One day, I told myself, I would get what I deserved.  One day, instead of teasing, there’d be praise.  Instead of rumors, truth.  Instead of rejection, inclusion.  One day.

            The ancient Jews looked for such a day too.  When they’d be admired as the chosen people of God, priests to the Gentiles, richly rewarded for their faith.  One day they’d get what they deserved.

            During Advent, we look toward one day too, but I wonder if we’re still fighting old battles, looking for vindication in other’s eyes.  Perhaps we could anticipate the justice of the Lord, where like perfectly fertile ground, “righteousness and praise will rise before all the nations.”

            One day, for all of God’s children, we will share a restored relationship with God, through his Christ, our savior.  Praise, truth, welcome, peace.  One day.


Come, bring the day, O God,

that all your children may know your reconciling grace.