Advent Reflection – Joyful Journeys
Meditation on the readings for December 7, 2015
Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalms 85: 9-14; Luke 5: 17-26
The passage from Isaiah is the perfect passage for Advent. If we fill in the other side of Isaiah’s metaphors with personal struggles in our lives that have been resolved through God’s mercy and love, then we can claim the joy of the season for our own. What lands of ours that were once parched have come into to full bloom? Have our hands and knees that were once feeble been made strong? Were our hearts frightened (and whose aren’t today) before we heard the words “Fear not”?
Perhaps our struggle is ongoing. Then, like the paralyzed man in the Gospel’s, we need friends that will carry us the the feet of Jesus where we can ask to be healed. And don’t be surprised if he says to us, “Your sins our forgiven.” If we reflect on this, we may realize that our paralysis is due to some unforgiven sin. Unforgiven because we have not asked to be forgiven or we have been in denial of its existence. Once we come to know that our God is a forgiving God, the healing can begin. Not only will we recover our ability to walk, we will be able to “leap like a stag” singing and praising God all the way home.
The message of Christmas should give us such joy and hope. When Simeon held the Christ child in the temple, the Holy Spirit revealed to him that through this baby salvation had come into the world so that the people of all nations could be healed. The psalmist declares that God has proclaimed peace to those who put their trust in Him. Isn’t that what the angels proclaimed to the shepherds?
We have a journey to make and we will pass through desserts, times of sickness, and times of fear along that journey. Perhaps we have come a long way along that journey or perhaps we have just found someone to show us the way to go.The scriptures assure us that God will accompany us on that journey with His mercy love and peace. The message of Christmas is that we do not have to make that journey alone, that all we have to is to walk in His footsteps.