category: Advent

Advent Reflection: Day 21

Saturday, December 18

Isaiah 66:7–11; Luke 13:31–35

“Do we want healing? What kind of God would ask us that?” Sho Baraka, a Christian rapper, asks this in his song “Pianos in Jericho,” and he calls attention to the hesitation that we have as we hope for deliverance.
In Luke 13:32 Jesus is warned that he is once again facing opposition from Herod, but he insists he will continue his healing of the city spiritually and physically, whether the people of Jerusalem want to
be saved or not.

Our deliverance is not dependent on our desire to be delivered. Hope is not an easy desire to hold onto in the midst of struggle. Sometimes we think of hope as a simple way to wade through the storms of life because we believe the end result will be worth it. Isaiah chapter 66 is seen as a chapter full of judgment and hope. Isaiah 66:7-11 talks about the city’s deliverance as childbirth, but the metaphor talks about labor as well as the comfort and nurturing from a mother. Hope is so much more than an end result. It is present in the journey as well. Hope can be seen in the birth, suffering, and deliverance of Jerusalem. The constant theme of hope in the Bible is not that the people always have it, but that God is always on time to provide it. Just like the hope found in Isaiah 66, Jesus’s words in Luke 13:33 show the perseverance of our Lord: “In any case I must press on today, tomorrow and the next day … .” There is a persistent deliverance and comfort for God’s people.

Do we want healing? Do we want deliverance? Today, tomorrow, and the next day—God continues to provide something to hope for.

Holly Strother-Waller
School of Divinity Student

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Advent Reflection: Day 22

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