Spirit & Life

A Newly Sprouted Seed

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit.
He has chosen me and sent me
To bring good news to the poor,
To heal the broken-hearted,
To announce release to captives and freedom to those in prison.

He has sent me to proclaim
That the time has come
When the Lord will save his people and defeat their enemies.
He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, to give to those who mourn in Zion
Joy and gladness instead of grief,
A song of praise instead of sorrow.
They will be like trees that the Lord himself has planted.
They will all do what is right, and God will be praised for what he has done.
They will rebuild cities that have long been in ruins.
 
The Lord says,
“I love justice and I hate oppression and crime.
I will faithfully reward my people and make an eternal covenant with them.
They will be famous among the nations;
Everyone who sees them will know that they are a people whom I have blessed.”
 Jerusalem rejoices because of what the Lord has done.
She is like a bride dressed for her wedding.
God has clothed her with salvation and victory.
As surely as seeds sprout and grow, the Sovereign Lord will save his people,
and all the nations will praise him.

Reflection

At Christmas, we look to the new beginnings – the human story of a young couple, a family, local community supporting them, wider community generously welcoming them, and the blessings of unexpected guests. Yet, in this Advent reading, we are reminded that this Christmas narrative is a chapter in the midst of a tome. Isaiah repeats God’s call, an echo of the past, a reminder in the now, and a prophecy of the future. As an adult, Jesus’ echoes this mission as he begins his ministry. This is a timeless call, across the millennia. God calls us to justice and healing kindness. God calls us to comfort individuals and build communities; to work with neighbours as we grow a society built on values rich with purpose and wise living. God calls us to a generative and renewing purpose, that like creation, seeds new hope in unlikely places, to sprout in fertile hearts and minds, so that together, we nourish souls and nurture the cycle of a purpose driven life… continuing a new chapter in this Kairos tome. This Christmas, I wonder where will we seed hope and integrity that echoes God’s calling of a just, valued and loving society? One that welcomes the tiniest outcasts, from unexpected places, with hospitable compassion and healing kindness?

Prayer: A Newly Sprouted Seed
Call to us again, O God,
For we do not hear you in our hearts.
Tell us your story again, O Christ,
For our understanding is fleeting.
Sing to us again, O Spirit,
For we are not in harmony with you.

As delicate as a newly sprouting seed,
Our faith needs tending.
May we nurture the garden of our lives
So that the community of which we are a part,
Flourishes with justice, equity, welcome and hospitality.
May we be satisfied with enough
And generous with open hands.
May neighbours be our family,
And our living be of benefit to all.

Then we will rejoice with you in song, O Spirit,
And tell of your continuing story, O Christ,
Because we hear it deep in our hearts, O God. Amen

1 Thess 5:16-24 Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances.

© Rev Anne Hewitt, 9/12/20
this reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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