Psalm 85:8-13; Isaiah 45:5-25; Luke 7:19-23
"As well as speaking the universe into being, our Creator is the author of beauty, which we might think unnecessary for practical functioning. But his attention to colorful detail, his infinite variety of plant and bird and beast, are indications of grace, as well as additional confirmation that God is always with us.
The Lord has planted within each of us the aesthetic impulse that allows us to recognize and appreciate that beauty. Created in the image of a Creator, we are created to create. Who among us has not decorated a Christmas tree, or an Easter egg, or a living room? Who among us has not planted a garden, photographed a scenery, whistled, sung, danced? (or painted) I have been listening this afternoon to builders down our street. I hear the antiphon of two sets of hammers ringing their sharp songs as a new house is being erected on an empty lot, and I realize that such construction (rather than destruction) echoes the up-building, creative impulse of God in us. But even builders have to follow the blueprints if the house is to stand firm. God is our Architect, and we are the houses he is building, here in our own Nazareth. The season of Advent reminds us to acknowledge this.
Not only is God the only authority, the One we must acknowledge, to whom we will all bend the knee, he is the One who opens the door to salvation: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other." John the Baptizer and his disciples wondered of Jesus, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" All Jesus had to tell them, quite simply, was that the blind were seeing, the lame walking, the lepers healed, deaf people could hear, the dead were alive again, and the poor encouraged with good news. Who else but the Promised One in our midst, the God With Us, was capable of such miracles? Later on, Peter had a similar answer to a similar question. He said: "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life." (Luci Shaw)
Mighty One, as the God who is with us, quench all doubt within us. Reassert yourself to us, in all your creative power and glory. As we remember how your Son gave up that authority to be born and to walk with us on earth, may our love and loyalty rise up to you, strong and certain, to reassure you that we are indeed your creatures. More - we are your sons and daughters. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
From Luci Shaw, God With Us