Reflections For the First Week of Advent

The lectionary passages for the first week of Advent are Isaiah 64:1-9Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 ,  1 Corinthians 1:3-9   and  Mark 13:24-37

When I think of Advent, especially the first week, the passages in Isaiah immediately come to mind.  Verses from Isaiah 11 are favorites of mine and probably familiar to us all:  "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."  Or “6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them."  But when I saw this week's lectionary passage from Isaiah it was not familiar to me and it was a little difficult for me to wrap my head around as it relates to the season, until I got to verse 8:  Yet you, Lord, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter;  we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, Lorddo not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people." However, we often allow ourselves to get caught up in the accoutrements of the holiday season.  How could we NOT as we are constantly bombarded with messages of what we should do and be.  We are presented with ideals that no one could live up to. If we could be malleable like clay and be shaped by what truly matters this Advent season:  Hope in the birth of a child.

Advent application in daily life:  During this first week of Advent, present yourself to God each morning, asking God to work through the events of your day to mold and shape you more and more into the person God made you to be. In the evening, notice the moments in your day when you seemed further from God, and when you seemed closer. 

As we anticipate the coming birth of Jesus, we are like clay.  The season molds and shapes us.  What we do and what we say is influenced by the hope of what is to come.

But what if, even for only this week, we allowed ourselves to be the clay and let God be the potter.  If we put aside the shoulds and coulds;  slowed down and let ourselves be the Father's children. View the season as a child might; with excited anticipation.


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