Advent, Day 1: Looking for sparks

Thank you for joining me on this Advent journey! I’ll be blogging daily between now and Christmas Day, reflecting on scriptures from the traditional Revised Common Lectionary readings. There are typically four scripture selections for each Sunday; I’ll be dividing those readings throughout the week, and sharing poetry, prayers, and thoughts each day. If you are interested in further readings and commentary on the scriptures, you can find the weekly Advent readings and links to MANY additional resources at (a fantastic site).

If you’re reading this blog for the first time, here’s my annual disclaimer: writing this daily blog is a spiritual discipline and a daily practice for me… and in order to be able to keep up with that discipline I don’t make myself do a lot of “homework” about the scriptures. My writings here are spur-of-the-moment reflections, first impressions that are not necessarily well-researched or studied with academic intensity. My purpose here is simply to respond to the texts instinctively and to move through this season thoughtfully, and I hope you’ll find meaningful moments along the way as well. Blessings to you during this season of anticipation!

Today’s reading: Isaiah 64:1-4

Oh that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–as when fire kindles brushwood and fire causes water to boil– (v. 1)

I always wanted neon signs from You,
giant flashing arrows showing the Way,
bursts of color heralding Your Presence

as the prophet yearned for blazing flame
I sought the skies for Your Name
spelled out on a glowing marquee
or in constellations
or even in a single wondrous Eastern star
please show us You Are Here
and Now

we need to know

so please
announce Your Self with
all the drama you can muster:
rend the heavens,
roll the mountains,
humble the nations!
bring out your bag of tricks,
your pillar of fire,
your burning bush,
your tongues of flame!
teach us
to hear Your
in the near-silence of a matchlight,
in a candleglow,
in a silent night
of starshine

we long for ignition:
to be set alight,
to blaze
to light the way.
we long to bubble up–
strike a spark,
and kindle us,
we pray

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