My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).
We lived for about a year in Las Vegas, Nevada. I always picture the “wilderness” of Isaiah as the desert around Las Vegas. There are brown hills, and gray valleys, all filled with sage brush and creosote plants, cacti and scrub brush. It’s a wild, desolate place with no water, and lots of sand. The wildlife is often poisonous, and always either preying on another animal or being preyed on by something else.
We were there because Big Al was stationed at Nellis AFB. He was a Disaster Preparedness Officer, which meant he functioned as part of the Civil Defense unit on the base. Additionally, one of his jobs was to go out in the desert to retrieve parts of aircraft that might have crashed. Unfortunately, he also was called upon to pick up parts of pilots, as well, sometimes. While we were there, the last underground nuclear tests were conducted on one of the bombing ranges north of town.
This second week of Advent is for thinking about, and studying PEACE. I know there were many people who had great contempt for members of the Armed Forces during the 1960s and 1970s. But from this vantage point, almost 50 years later, I believe we were necessary for the peace we have today. I’m grateful that in the current conflicts, we no longer revile and shun the members of the Armed Forces who are standing for us around the world.
Here, then, is the missing verse 10 from yesterday,
YHWH, O Sovereign One, You come with power, and rule with a strong arm,
You bring your reward with you, and your reparation comes before you.
Sometimes force, even armed force, is necessary to usher in the Peace of G-d.