Isaiah 64:1-4 (CEB)

1  If only you would tear open the heavens and come down! Mountains would quake before you 2 like fire igniting brushwood or making water boil.  If you would make your name known to your enemies, the nations would tremble in your presence. 3 When you accomplished wonders beyond all our expectations; when you came down, mountains quaked before you. 4 From ancient times, no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any god but you who acts on behalf of those who wait for him!

Isaiah 64:1 (CEB)

1  If only you would tear open the heavens and come down! Mountains would quake before you

DEVOTION:James Harnish (Florida)

Many of us can relate to what the prophet Isaiah must have been feeling when he uttered the words above, even if we aren’t audacious enough to speak them.  At times, we want God to come down to earth with real power to shake up the world and to make things right.  In the same way, we are sometimes tempted to put our faith in economic, political, or military power, hoping that by sheer force we can make the world right – or at least make things right for our lives, our families, and our nation.  The prophet captures the down-to-earth longing in many human hearts.

Advent teaches us that God does not come with power to make the world right.  God comes down from heaven, and hope for a new world is born in a nondescript cow stall in an obscure town called Bethlehem.  God arrives by way of the human sweat and blood in which everyone is born.  God comes down to save the world, not by what the world calls power but by the subversive and often hidden power of self-giving love.

God comes down, and hope is born.  But we miss it if we aren’t looking in the right place.  This Advent let us train our eyes, minds, and hearts so we will be ready for hope to be born in each of us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God comes down, and hope is born among us.

PRAYER: Dear God, give us eyes to see your power in the self-giving love of Jesus Christ.  Amen.