OUR VISION FOR CHRISTMAS may be less positive or hopeful. We may not have money to fulfill our desires. We may have lost a job or experienced the death of a loved one. We may react to hard times and think, “Nothing is changed; nothing will change.” As it was in the beginning, so it always will be.
That cynicism overflowed in me one Advent when, within two months, my mother died, a family member brought legal action against her estate, my research fellowship advisor died, and a friend committed suicide. In the midst of that sad and cynical time, a larger vision of Christmas jolted me from despondent reality to a sense of hope. I developed some new connections, sought emotional and psychological health, and began to pray in varying ways. The words of the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”) became a close companion as I prayed them over and over and as I rested in that mercy.
When reading Isaiah 2:1-5, the phrase “in days to come” seemed to beg for my attention. “In days to come” points beyond us and our immediate reality, directing us to a broader perspective. The prophet Isaiah surely understands the daily crises of life. … Even so, his perspective remains broad. The everyday obstacles of sin do not block Isaiah’s vision for the future. Amid the brokenness surrounding him, Isaiah speaks of the vision when all people will worship in the house of God. The day will come when the world’s diverse peoples will meet in peace to companion one another. In that time, people will turn instruments of war and destruction into implements of nurture. In days to come, says Isaiah, people shall learn war no more.
– George H. Donigian
In Days to Come
From pages 18-19 of In Days to Come: From Advent to Epiphany by George H. Donigian. Copyright © 2017 by George H. Donigian. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What blocks your good vision of the future? Share your thoughts.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
Psalm 85:11, NRSV
This Week: pray for peace. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Dorothy Day (December 6).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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