December 4, 2017

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

It is Advent and while the culture is encouraging us to celebrate and spend, the tradition of the church asks us to spend some time considering who and what we are in the context of our life and world this time around the sun in hopes that we will see more clearly what God is doing as we remember the birth of Jesus. As I write I look out my window and see a lawn full of leaves in the process of shriveling awaiting a strong wind to blow them into my neighbor’s yard who has been so diligent about blowing his shriveling leaves to the curb. It reminds me that our sin- our selfishness and self-righteous arrogance- does not only affect us. Our attitudes and actions- especially the ones alluded to above that “are like filthy rags”- don’t merely blow away but land somewhere clogging drains and eradicating the efforts of others. Sometimes the shriveled leaves of others blow back on our yards. What are we to do with all these shriveled leaves in the wind? Advent invites us to place them in God’s hands, to prayerfully acknowledge where we shrivel, to trust the wind/breath/Spirit of God to move us, even as we are, to a better place. This week consider how you are shriveling and where the wind of God may be taking you.

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