The Weekly Word Advent Series - A Devotion for the Second Week of Advent
Join us for the month of December as we offer a special Weekly Word devotion in honor of the Advent season. We invite you to make space in your heart, mind and soul as we wait with joyful anticipation for the coming of Christ.
This week’s scripture reading is from Isaiah 11:1.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
If you’ve ever pruned back or even cut down a tree in your yard, only to witness it begin to sprout again weeks later, you can easily visualize the image presented by the prophet Isaiah in this verse. Typically, this tender, new shoot starts small where the cut was made – so small, in fact, you might even miss it at first. But over time, the shoot unfurls and grows, until ultimately it flourishes into a strong, healthy branch that blossoms and bears fruit.
This small, tender shoot is the perfect metaphor for how God came into the world and how He continues to share His presence with us. Jesus was born a helpless infant; born in a barn on the outskirts of town; born to a young, poor couple. Our all-knowing, all-powerful God works His wonders in the small, in the ordinary, in the overlooked. He moves where we least expect – in the mundane of our everyday lives; among the most marginalized, whom we pass by without a second glance; in the most subtle nuances all around us in creation.
These Advent weeks leading up to Christmas day offer us an invitation to slow down and notice how and where God is moving in our lives and spaces. He is inviting us to notice His presence in the places we might typically overlook.
Will we take this opportunity to see Jesus in the homeless couple at the corner of the busy intersection?
Will we notice Him as we fold the laundry or load the dishwasher? As we drive the kids to school, walk the dog and perform the hundreds of other mundane tasks in our daily lives?
Will we acknowledge and give thanks for His presence in dawn’s glow lighting the shorn cornfields as we drive to work, in the cheerful call of the chickadee at the backyard birdfeeder?
It’s easy during this busy time of year to be distracted by our ever-growing to-do lists. But amid the busyness, these weeks of Advent also offer us a special opportunity to notice where God lives and moves and has His being. Let us accept the invitation to be with Jesus, especially in the places we least expect to find Him.
Gracious God, You are everywhere, and yet, too often – distracted and busy with other things -- I miss Your very presence in my life. Open my eyes, my ears and my heart, Lord, so that I may be present to all the many ways You bless me every day. Amen.