Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Isaiah 9:1-7; Psalms 47, 48; 2 Peter 1:12-21; Luke 22:54-69

Production timing for this Advent and Christmas devotional booklet begins many months in advance of Advent. I first read through the readings early in July, at the time when the space shuttle successfully circled the earth, and Israel was just beginning to attack Hezbullah in Lebanon. The view of earth from space and shells exploding in a densely populated city provide sharply contrasting images. In Psalm 47, verses 2 and 3, we read, “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! He subdued nations under our feet.” These lines seemed to echo the images of our day. I felt great sadness that we are still killing each other over religious, political, and social differences. One of the astronauts aboard the shuttle commented, as many have done before him, on how small our earth home looks compared to the vastness of space, and he wished we could share our only home in peace.

I moved on to Isaiah 9 and found, “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress … Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.” These words are not quite as familiar as those that immediately follow: “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I pray that as the weeks pass from this writing and we approach the day when we will celebrate the birth of this child, this Prince of Peace, we will do all in our power to relieve the gloom and bring about peace. Not just peace in the Middle East, but peace in our own neighborhoods as well.

- Merry Breed

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