The Isaiah passage describes a scene of shalom (vs 6), that is, of a renewed world that has become God’s home, where ‘all live in peace with God and creation, and all inhabit a space of joy, God’s and humans’ (Volf and Crossamun, For the life of the world).
We understand shalom as being closely linked with justice, rightness, compassion and truthfulness. Christianity shares with other faith traditions the understanding that ‘peace, understood as shalom, is so much more than the absence of conflict and war’ (Rowan Williams)
This Advent, as we journey towards the nativity, to the wonder of incarnation, may we draw from this deep vision of shalom in these challenging times.
In this time of waiting may we reflect deeply on the possibility of peace. Allowing us to see, with the prophet Isaiah, a restored creation.
Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Some might consider him the ultimate ‘uncooperative crusty’, though smelling more of camel’s hair than hemp, when he raised his voice in the wilderness calling those within the faith to repentance.
John’s words do not make for easy reading in this season that is often sprinkled with tinsel and glowing with fairy lights. The words of a prophet are rarely make for easy reading or listening, yet it is particularly within this season of overconsumption and indulgence that we need to heed his words and demonstrate our changed carbon reduced ways. To bear fruit worthy of repentance.
Advent week 2 prayer
Defender of the meek
deliverer of the oppressed
give us a glimpse
of your Realm restored
through all the earth
of righteousness flourishing
of peace abounding
allow us to gaze
on the scene of shalom
so we never give up
seeking it first
here on earth, as in Heaven.
In the name of the Prince of Peace,
Things to pray for this week
Pray for the 16 days of action against gender based violence (GBV) as it comes to an end on human rights day on the 10th December. Give thanks for this movement for justice and pray that it raises awareness and mobilises action to prevent GBV.
Continue to pray for the climate change talks as they come to an end this week. Pray for justice for all of creation.
Published on 28 November 2019