Advent Reflections 2022: 12th December

Isaiah 55: 9-12
At Advent, we look forward to a time when we will see God made one with humanity, both in the birth of Jesus, and also in the hope of a complete restoration of all things which we look for in the second coming.

We may have lost faith and hope in people, but in our reading, second Isaiah (the Isaiah of the exiles) reminds us that God’s ways are always greater than those of humanity. In a time before climate change made the seasons unsettled, the second Isaiah is able to point to the dependability of the seasons. In the same way, he says, God is dependable. The rain and snow of winter water the plants to provide a harvest that meets the needs of human beings. So, in the same way, we can rely upon the word of God. What God has spoken cannot fail to achieve its purpose.

If you have ever stood on a mountaintop on a clear day gazing out at the landscape before you, you may have experienced a sense of awe. Lying under a tree and staring up through its branches can also fill you with a sense of wonder. Of course, mountains don’t literally have mouths to sing with, and trees do not literally have hands to clap with. Yet these poetic expressions used in the final verse of our reading point us to the way the wonder of creation can be said to celebrate its creator’s work.

The work that this poetic picture envisions is of a joyous procession out of Babylon which will be a foretaste of a still greater exuberant homecoming of the exiles, back to the beloved city of Jerusalem. A city which will become a home of well-being. This is a celebration in which all creation will want to take part. For, as Dame Julian of Norwich said, ‘All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well’.

Revd. Ken Stokes

Creator God, at a time of climate change
and environmental crisis, we long for a rebirth
of our relationship with you and a renewal of the whole earth.
Remind us that we are called to proclaim your truth in word and deed,
and may we do so with the confidence that
the purpose of your eternal Word will never fail.
So may we rejoice in Jesus the Word made flesh, born for us in Bethlehem,
and may we have unfailing hope that all creation will one day bear witness
that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. Amen.