Spirit

2020 Advent Devotional – Day 12

Spirit

Isaiah 11: 1–3a; 4a; 6–9

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding
With righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
(Isaiah 11: 2a, 4a)

Video: Isaiah 11: 1–3a; 4a; 6–9


Reflection

This year, perhaps more than before, the reading from Isaiah echoes a craving within us for things to be different. We don’t need to look far to see the “poor of the earth,” and the further we do look, the more poverty we can find. Our communities surge with the needy seeking recovery, while many of our own lives are weighed down by unmet needs.

All the while – allegorically – the ever-present fear of a cobra’s den or a viper’s nest wait ominously, and wolves indeed circle our lambs. Financial insecurity, mental health, loneliness, physical illness and disease – we are besieged with anxiety and uncertainty – while we seem to be living in a world determined to become more divided, more entrenched in our views, more determined to think only of ourselves.

In this environment of suspicion and greed, of chaos and upheaval, God promises us a different way. God promises us his Spirit in the person of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, we are called to a life guided by wisdom and understanding – wisdom to recognize the needs of our communities, understanding to address the needs in our lives.

Led by the teaching and healing of Jesus, we are empowered to answer the cries for help from around the world, near and far, and to advocate for deep, loving justice – not an individualistic world that champions each one for themselves, but a world of compassion that seeks to make every one of us whole.

Embraced by the love and acceptance of Jesus, we are met by a God who sees our needs and sends his Spirit to nurture and strengthen us. And through his loving presence, we too can perceive the Spirit of the Lord and follow it all our days.


Sustaining God,
Surrounded by the pain and despair of the world, help me find the way of Jesus the Christ. Guide me through your Spirit to recognize the needs in the world around me. Strengthen me with your Spirit to answer these cries and establish your divine justice. Lead me with your Spirit to appreciate your presence in my life and to feel your healing love. Amen.


Reading

Isaiah 11: 1–3a; 4a; 6–9

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.


If you’re enjoying the carols each day, there’s now a YouTube playlist you can listen to that contains all the carols shared so far. The playlist will grow as the devotional series progresses, with each day’s carol being added. By Christmas Day, you’ll have the perfect soundtrack of worship and praise.  Click here to listen.


Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.


 

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