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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today’s Reading | Isaiah 42:1–4

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
     my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
     he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
     or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
     and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
     he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
     until he has established justice in the earth;
     and the coastlands wait for his teaching. (NRSV)


Somebody special is coming. He (Jesus) will do amazing things (justice for all humankind), but it won’t be showy.

My mother-in-law loves to give books, but she only gives books with religious overtones. Consequently almost all of our children’s Christmas books that are about Jesus are from their MeMac. One that we read year after year is called Have You Seen Christmas? Two children look for a lost dog named Christmas. Christmas is definitely not in the mall where children fight over toys or at the beautifully lit skating rink. The children find Christmas at the church hall, where the homeless have gathered for food, warmth, and fellowship on Christmas Eve. The shiny trappings of the season look like Christmas, but they’re meaningless, even unpleasant. The answer is in a location devoid of glamour but rich with love. It holds the promise of the birth of Jesus and the quiet expression of Christianity through serving others.

Is the plot contrived and implausible? Yes. But this book sweetly and succinctly answers the Big Advent Question: “What are we waiting for and where do we find it?”


Gracious God, help me find the simple yet extraordinary gift of the season and to give thanks for the people in my life who help me get there. Amen.

Written by Josie, Greg, Meredith, and Andrew Phelps, Fourth Church family

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