The first candle of the Advent wreath symbolizes the hope that Jesus’ life birthed into our reality. As image bearers, we have the same directive to live that reality in this time and space. Today’s reading from pray-as-you-go.org from Isaiah 11:1-10 is a beautiful reminder of what that looks like. The meditation’s guide suggests the narrative is a metaphor for a less violent and more just world, and asks the question, “how are you being called to contribute to a less violent and more just world?” In other words, how are you bringing hope to the hopeless?
The “Giving Tuesday” initiative is a beautiful corrective to the buying frenzy of this past weekend. My prayer is that it is an inoculation against the selfie-ness that characterizes our current practices. My prayer is that we might covenant together to remind each other to breathe; Breathe the spirit of hope. May we encourage—motivate—each other to remain unselfie-d, and to experience and be awakened to the life-spirit of this season.
Reflect on this prayer from the Revised Common Lectionary:
Creator of the world,
you are the potter, we are the clay,
and you form us in your image.
Shape our spirits
by Christ’s transforming power,
that as one people
we may live out your compassion and justice,
whole and sound in the realm of your peace. Amen.