The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom
and the knowledge and skill to rule his people.
He will know the Lord’s will and honour him,
and find pleasure in obeying him.
He will not judge by appearance or hearsay;
he will judge the poor fairly
and defend the rights of the helpless.
He will rule his people with justice and integrity.
Wolves and sheep will live together in peace,
and leopards will lie down with young goats.
Calves and lion cubs will feed together,
and little children will take care of them.
Cows and bears will eat together,
and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace.
Lions will eat straw as cattle do.
Even a baby will not be harmed
if it plays near a poisonous snake.
On Zion, God’s sacred hill,
there will be nothing harmful or evil.
The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord
as the seas are full of water.
Romans 15:4-7 13
Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us. And may God, the source of patience and encouragement, enable you to have the same point of view among yourselves by following the example of Christ Jesus, so that all of you together may praise with one voice the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you. May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God has always called us to unity and being alongside each other. Jesus’ living and being showed what that looks like, and how to live it out in our daily lives, if we so choose. The Christmas story drew the most unlikely people together, in the unveiling narrative of simple love, honest hope, just peacemaking and generosity, from those with the least to offer and those who were totally unrelated in background, faith or culture. All creation is included in the harmonies resounding loudly in the angelic voices. The gift of God’s illuminating Light is this whole image of being and living that we celebrate each Christmas. As we travel in this Advent Season, following the Light that gathers us all, may the ancient reading from Isaiah illuminate what that may mean now in our everyday living. The image of a new world order is striking in such ‘otherness’ that chooses to live in peace and harmony. As Romans reminds us, everything written in the Scriptures teaches us, so that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement we find in them. The thread of unity that echoes down the millennia, encourages a hope and reconciliation that is as needed to today as it has previously been needed.
May our gifting to each other this season be the listening ear and open heart, that sits in harmony and tender love in the midst of creation, that Mary and Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the shepherds and the Wise Ones, the heavenly chorus and the tiniest creatures, all bring to this narrative of Light.
A clarity of inner vision and perspective, and an outward expression of Hope to all.
We pray with voices echoing from the past, into our days and beyond our knowing,
through the praying of Psalm 72
God of Justice and Peace,
we see the injustice and hear the cries of the poor, the disadvantaged,
the down trodden and the violated.
We pray for our world leaders
And particularly for those in Australia…
Teach the leaders to judge with your tender love, decency and morality, O God.
Share with them your own justice, so that they will rule justly across our communities and your people,
and govern the oppressed with decency and honesty.
May the land enjoy prosperity.
May we listen to it and care for it in all its diversity and richness.
May the land experience righteousness and honesty.
May our leaders judge the poor fairly.
May they help the needy and quash the selfish and oppressors.
May we, your people worship you as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon gives light, for ages to come.
May your love be like rain on the fields, like showers falling on the land,
for we often experience the drought of honesty, truth and compassion.
May righteousness flourish in this lifetime, for now, and the gifting to the coming generations,
and may prosperity last as long as the moon gives light.
May you, God, the source of hope, fill us with all joy and peace by means of our faith,
so that our hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. AMEN
© Rev Anne Hewitt 23/11/2022
This reflection may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.