Today is Friday the 11 December, in the 2nd week of Advent.
Kate and William James sing an arrangement of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' by Bob Chilcott. Today’s reading is from the Prophet Isaiah.
Thus says the Lord,your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:I am the Lord your God,who teaches you for your own good,who leads you in the way you should go.O that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your prosperity would have been like a river, and your success like the waves of the sea;your offspring would have been like the sand,and your descendants like its grains;their name would never be cut offor destroyed from before me.
A prophecy finds itself into the text today; a prophecy which could be contained in the even shorter phrase: ’What if?’ As I prepare my heart and mind to enter the great feast of the Incarnation, how often have I let that very same thought into my mind over this past year? How satisfied am I with my present situation?
There is no doubt in Isaiah, that Israel certainly deserves her punishment. But what if she had paid attention? What if Israel had remained faithful? The prophecy is not meant for despair. Israel still belongs to God, the Lord is still teaching, the Lord is still leading. There is still time. God will provide. Advent assures us - all those prophecies may yet come true.
“I am the Lord your God.” As I listen to the scripture again I ask myself. If I believe the Lord is our God, then can I have faith in the journey before me? Can I accept what I have and be thankful?
Can I feel blessed? Instead of ‘What if?’ could I say instead ‘Even though’? In my prayer for today, can I give myself to God’s purpose and thank God for the blessings that are given to me?