December 19

Read Micah 5:2-5a.

A piece of embroidery work on beige fabric, in a natural wooden embroidery hoop. Growing from a small stump on each side are fig tree branches that intertwine at the top. A larger stump in the middle has a sprout growing out of it. In front of the large stump on the ground are a Communion plate and chalice, and a shepherd's crook.

The backdrop for this passage is destruction and hopelessness. Picture a section of land deforested, trunks of trees roughly chopped and all life they supported scattered. Yet, in the midst of the destruction there is a sprout, a hope for new life and a sign of a fresh start. It will take time to grow, but the waiting will be worth it, for it will bring the shelter of a tall shade tree, the nourishment of your favorite fruit tree, and peace in abundance.

Pray

Holy Renewer, we sit in the midst of injustice, social inequity, and a changing climate that can feel overwhelming. In this we are grateful for the steadfastness you offer. Guide us to see the signs of the ways you are working toward restoration through your love, so that we might be inspired to hope for the peace you promise. Amen.

Rev. Allison Maus

Associate Pastor for Campus Ministry

State College Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Student Fellowship at Penn State

Editor’s Note: This reflection and prayer are part of our new companion guide, which also features additional resources for each Sunday in Advent and Christmas, including candle lighting liturgies, context about the Scripture readings, and discussion questions. Find the companion guide here.

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