Daily Reflection
December 9th, 2003
Eileen Wirth
Journalism Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96:1-2, 3, 10, 11-12, 13
Matthew 18:12-14

This year I did something I almost never do on the day after Thanksgiving. I went shopping and fought the worst store crowds I’ve ever seen. It was Holiday from Hades, standing in an endless line with frenzied bargain hunters just to save $35 or $40 on a vacuum cleaner. 

I mention this because the experience contrasts strongly with today’s powerful passages from Isaiah and Matthew.  Both readings remind us that this season isn’t supposed to be dedicated to launching the equivalent of the Normandy invasion on the nation’s shopping emporiums but to preparing the coming of a God who saves us.

Advent is my favorite Church season.  It doesn’t ban us from participating in all the celebrating but calls us to remember that preparing for Christmas requires thoughtfulness and prayer.  I find it a bracing antidote to everything else we experience during December.

Personally I can only handle so many Muzak renditions of “Silent Night” with loud speakers reminding us of the bargains in Aisle 6. I need to escape to readings like today’s that speak to the eternal quest of people for God and God’s desire to save his people.

Today’s image of lost sheep is particularly helpful during this season. If God is looking for people to rescue, he’ll find them glassy-eyed in just about any American shopping mall. He would have found thousands this morning at Nebraska Furniture Mart!

P.S. A reminder: much of today’s reading from Isaiah is set to music on the St. Louis Jesuit album “Gentle Night.” This beautiful Advent-Christmas collection of hymns is the perfect remedy for too many canned Christmas carols.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Let Your Friends Know About This Reflection By Sending Them An E-mail


Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook