December 10, 2014
Nancy Shirley
Creighton's School of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer


Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 183

Isaiah 40: 25-31
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10
Matthew 11:28-30

Praying Advent

Today's Advent Prayer

We are part way through the second week of Advent and Christmas Eve is two weeks away.  We will celebrate the birth of our Savior soon – are we ready?  I don’t mean is all your Christmas shopping done or if the decorations are complete.  Are we READY?  Our readings challenge us to prepare ourselves not for festivities but for salvation. 
In the first reading, Isaiah rebukes us – it is almost as if he can’t believe that we are not aware.

Do you not know or have you not heard?
The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth.

We have nothing to worry about or be concerned.  We have (or should have) hope for the future, our eternal future. He reminds us that those who have hope in the Lord will renew their strength. It is such an important message for us.  Sometimes as we near the end of the year and all that implies coupled with the busyness of the Christmas season, we do, indeed, grow weary.  The hectic pace belies this season of peace – most of us would not, could not say that “all is calm.”  Isaiah’s message is one of strength and faith.  As the beautiful song, We will rise again from David Haas, states in the refrain,  

We will run and not grow weary
for our God will be our strength
and we will fly like an eagle.
We will rise again.

The words of the song kept echoing in my head as I first read this scripture and thought about it this week.  I always take comfort in this song feeling the relief and solace when I rely on God for my strength.

Our gospel follows the thoughts of our first reading.  It is in God and His Son that we will truly find rest.  I love the image of taking the yoke because you can’t really use a yoke alone – it needs to be used in partnership. Jesus is offering to be our partner as we share His yoke.  If we do decide to bind ourselves to Him, we will find a different way of living – a way that is meek and humble of heart.  Within this new way, we will live the promises of Isaiah with strength and refuge and soar as with eagles’ wings.

May you have a blessed Christmas!

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