December 8, 2019

Advent 2 2019

Passage: Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-12

The story is told of prisoners released from the Nazi death camp of Buchenwald after American soldiers liberated them. Finding their way to a holding camp many began to dream of what might come next. Some even dreamed of going to Israel and founding a kibbutz. On the 20th of June, 1948 that is exactly what happened. Kibbutz Netzer became a reality. Netzer…a twig or a shoot. And to these former prisoners a green shoot growing out of an old stump that was no longer in existence. Isaiah’s promise became a reality on that day.
A reality that we all long for, a reality we all want to happen in our lifetime. Something new growing out of something old and decrepit. The ancient prophets of Israel were that old and often long-forgotten messengers. But God had something new to grow
from the old and his name was John.
The old could be Isaiah, the promise no more fear, no more war, no more death. A delight to God now grown old yet still vibrant and still a promise to hold. John is the new vibrancy, the new promise, the newness of God to the people of Israel who were fearful,
constantly longing for the promise to be fulfilled. And John looks to the future because the present is already becoming a reality. The wolf is still hunting but John hopes for the day when the lamb will come. His role, the role of the one who alerts the people, became a reality when Jesus appeared on the horizon. Only not yet…we are still in Advent the season of waiting, the season of expectation. So we expect transformation of creation, we expect transformation of humanity. We are the ones who are the future
because the present is already. Jesus is coming and has already come. He comes among us daily if we will but welcome him into our lives, into our hearts, into our future.
We are called to be Advent people not Christmas people. We are called to live in expectation forever facilitation God’s work of renewal. Like Isaiah, like John we live with the longing for peace, for Jesus, for transformation. Amen.

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