Tuesday: Dec. 2               Read Isaiah 64:1-9

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,

so that the mountains would quake at your presence–

as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—

to make your name known to your adversaries,

so that the nations might tremble at your presence!

When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,

you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

From ages past no one has heard,

no ear has perceived,

no eye has seen any God besides you,

who works for those who wait for him.

You meet those who gladly do right,

those who remember you in your ways.

But you were angry, and we sinned;

because you hid yourself we transgressed.

We have all become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.

We all fade like a leaf,

and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

There is no one who calls on your name,

or attempts to take hold of you;

for you have hidden your face from us,

and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father;

we are the clay, and you are our potter;

we are all the work of your hand.

Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD,

and do not remember iniquity forever.

Now consider, we are all your people.

 

from Rev. Del Parris

Lost Creek, WV

Isaiah’s passionate and earnest prayer for God’s intervention in the broken world of his time speaks directly to our time and to me. “In our sins we have been a long time” clearly describes our society. With Isaiah I often find myself praying a desperate prayer for God’s healing intervention in our nation’s struggle to recover some moral center. Of course Isaiah references the type of intervention described in earlier Old Testament theophanies with their corresponding mountains quaking and fire coming down. One can’t help but notice the contrast of Isaiah’s vision and God’s answer with the obscure birth of a child.

While I know that God has come to us in Christ, I also share Isaiah’s desire for a more spectacular and dramatic intervention, and when nothing seems to happen I get that “for you have hid your face from us” feeling. May Advent be a reminder that God has come down, that God does come down, and that God will come down.

You are the potter, O God, and we are clay.

Make us anew, vessels ready to receive your quiet coming. Amen.

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