Advent Devotional December 24, 2018
1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8 A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Rebecca Dix ’15/’17, Miller Summer Youth Institute Advisory Council
There have been days
I’ve gone down to the river to pray
But the river bed has been empty for days
A lingering, barren ravine
Where I’d expected a mercy filled stream
Canyon carved stretch marks of a belly
Once with such life within
Leaving only sand to be baptized in
And a parchment tongue
Desiccated from praises it’s forgotten how to sing
Yet tomorrow, I will return again
Eyes piercing the sky in anticipation
For flood waters anointing,
Poured out, pores soaked
Washed in the words of the greatest Love story
Whose torrents push and move and remake what has been
Saturate my sin filled body
With grace like rain
Healer and Sustainer, pour out your flood waters to saturate our dryness and break through our dams and roadblocks that keep us from holy communion with you and with our brothers and sisters. Strengthen us with the hope of Emmanuel as we await his arrival. Amen.
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