Advent Season – Week 2 – Prophets
December 10, 2018
Advent Week 2 – Prophets
Worship at FLPC is enriched during Advent and Christmas by Worship Banners that were designed and created by Margaret McKinnon Harris and given to FLPC to the glory of God in 2016. Each week another pair of banners will be hung in the sanctuary that invite us into the ancient story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and into the current call to be transformed into a disciple of Jesus Christ. We hope these banners will enhance your worship on Sundays and will invite you into the journey of discipleship every day of the week.
Second Week of Advent – Prophets
The journey continues. More gentle hills and mountains. Isn’t life like that sometimes? Same old – same old. But notice the curves and turns on the path. What is around the bend? What is over the next hill? Where is God leading us? Can we have the faith to trust and obey when nothing much seems to be happening? Can we stay the course?
Isaiah’s words of comfort were originally spoken to the Jews living in exile in a foreign land. His message is one of reassurance and comfort. God has not forgotten us. We will receive mercy and pardon and God will be present with us. In fact, some of the exiles did eventually get to return home to Jerusalem. But, over time, this passage came to be connected to an even more important revelation of God’s glory – the appearance of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist uses this ancient prophecy to explain Jesus’ identity in Luke 3:1-6.
Because of the reassurance and the comfort offered, it can be easy to miss the call to journey in this passage. In Isaiah the journey is back home, but the journey meant first crossing the wilderness. To get back home the exiled people of God had to trust the prophet who told them to leave the land where they found themselves, to set out into territory that was not friendly or easy, and they had to figure out how to find their way. And they had to trust that God would bless their return home. The journey of faith can be difficult and requires intentionality. The journey of faith requires a leap of faith – leaving the known to travel through the wilderness. The journey of faith almost always includes suffering and loss and grief. Decide this Advent season to take the journey “home” to be in God’s presence and to accept God’s leading and forgiveness. Start with asking to be forgiven for all that has led you so far from God’s home, and then ask God what direction you must take to begin your journey home.
- What do you need to do or to change to return to where God wants you to be?
- Have you had to “walk through the wilderness” before? How can wilderness times work to strengthen our faith?
- Does fear keep you from the journey? Pray to God about what you fear.
- Can you identify any “steps” that you feel God is urging you to take if your journey to transformation is going to continue?