Isaiah 12:2-6 —

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.  Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.              Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.


from Kevin Snow, Central Christian Church, Huntington

There are two major parts to our Christmas season: anticipation and celebration.  First, the four Sundays in Advent call for us to wait, to wonder, and to prepare.  This part is uncomfortable for many people.  In the Gospel narratives, an angel of the Lord has to constantly remind God’s people, “Do not be afraid.”  Verse 2 of Isaiah also reassures us in our hope for God’s presence in our future.  Second, the Christmas celebration and days leading into our New Year allow us to rejoice, Emmanuel, God with us.  Our uncertainty is bolstered with reassurance.  Isaiah leads our rejoicing in verses 3-6.  “Give thanks…make known his deeds…proclaim…sing praises…shout aloud…sing for joy!”  In a world that prefers instantaneous over expectancy, Isaiah increases our Christmas celebration with Advent anticipation.

God of expectation and hope, reveal pieces of your mystery throughout this Advent season, that we might celebrate more fully the coming of Christ’s birth to the world.