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Advent Reflections: Day 16-17

Is. 35:1-10
Ps. 146:5-10
James 5:7-10
Mt. 11:2-11

Sometimes I like to read large chunks of Scripture and then just sit back an listen to what comes. I find that when I do this with a variety of passages, I don’t get lost and entangled in the details as much as I do when I’m focusing on a small portion. For me, there’s room for both approaches but I’ve recently begun appreciating the lectionaries as aids in the former.

Out of these moments of reflection after reading in that way, often emerges general impressions or images about God and his ways that may be but often are not necessarily implicit in the verses themselves.

In reading today’s “chunk” of Scripture, I kept picturing three things:

Water rushing over dry ground - like on the planet earth or fearless planet shows where they show a time lapse of a flash flood in the Sahara or Gobi desert and literally, all of a sudden you see little green shoots popping up from the places that were previously just sand. God is about creating life from the barren places.

The other image I saw was of one of those zen rock gardens that you can buy for your stressed out boss to put on her/his desk. You can scatter the pebbles and sand inside the little sand box and use the tiny bamboo rake to move around the pebbles and smooth out the sand. God is about making the treacherous paths passable.

And finally, I was getting the distinct impression that God is very much about lifting up the lowly and moving people from a place of turmoil to rest, war to peace.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in what *we think* God cares about that we forget to sit back and listen and see Him for who He is and allow ourselves to get caught up in what God *really does* care about. Who really cares if this is speaking of eternal paradise or God’s Kingdom now? It’s what God is wanting, it’s what God is doing. In humility we know it won’t all be “just right” until God’s full reign but can we really go wrong getting started now?

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  1. Tia Lynn — December 21, 2007 #

    Beautiful imagery. I love the one about water rushing over dry land. Just beautiful.

  2. michael — December 31, 2007 #

    So true. I love that God is indeed lifting people up and creates life out of barren places. He can’t help but birth life. And yet, as we read in Romans, we are to rejoice in our lowly position rather than be deceived in a lofty place, self righteous in moral “filth.” Isn’t it interesting how man’s morality can be considered filth if it is done in pride with no submitted heart to the need for God in our life. He alone is our real righteousness. It is so humbling. I’ve been going through James verse by verse almost daily with my wife. It’s been astounding the nuggets we’ve got just from digesting on these small bits at a time.

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