Read Isaiah 35:3-7.
As a Utahn, I dig Isaiah’s creation imagery. Waters springing up in the desert? A thirsty ground? Awesome! Last year, Utah didn’t receive the precipitation it typically sees, and our state experienced historic drought conditions. The governor issued drought-related executive orders, a Twitter campaign ensued (#slowtheflow), and in July, the Great Salt Lake reached its lowest levels on record. Sometime in the midst of this water crisis, the rain poured and poured one day, and my infant son crawled over to the window and pointed outside before turning to me, clearly mystified and excited by what he was seeing and hearing. He sat quietly, watching and listening as the rain splattered on the deck and nourished the plants and trees in our backyard.
Advent is a season for childlike wonder. It’s a time of anticipation in which God leaves us speechless, inviting us to watch and wait as the promise of salvation unfolds. Isaiah’s words are an encouraging message for us, but they’re also a message to us. The coming Christ will keep us from the exile of feeling weak or fearful, because those who seek to live with Christ will themselves offer the ministry of strengthening and comforting. In Christ, our vision will be clarified anew, and our worldview expanded as our ears are continually opened to new perspectives and experiences. Formerly speechless, Christ followers will rejoice in the new creation. Rejoicing might take the form of a singing tongue, but it might also be a relationship restored, or a new experience of God’s presence. It will be extraordinary, though it may seem a
Breathe in Emmanuel, breathe out be with me as I watch and wait.
Rev. Meghan Vail