Advent Devotional: First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-11

Godly Play is a curriculum that teaches children the stories of scripture, rhythm of the church year, and encourages them to wonder, to ask questions, to dream. In every Godly Play classroom, is a piece of the desert. So many important and wonderful things happen in the desert that we need to know what it is like. Stories of Abraham and Sarah, of the Exodus, Exile, the prophets, and more are told in the desert. As they hear these stories, children begin to remember the words that frame each of them, and they begin to wonder beyond the stories they hear to the stories they live. These reflections often happen during the week, away from the Sunday school class, with family or friends. This one happened on the drive to school one morning…

Dad, do you want to meet God? 
Yes, Jenny. I would like to meet God. 
Well, you’ll have to go to the desert!

The desert is a place of scarcity, a place of dependence, a place of waiting.

When the people of God crossed over the waters from Egypt into the desert, they celebrated, but they weren’t home yet. They had to wait. They couldn’t find their own way, they had to watch for God. When the people wandered through the desert, there was no food or water there. They couldn’t make their own way; they had to depend on God.

The desert is a place of scarcity, a place of waiting, a place of dependence.

Isaiah’s prophecy this week reminds us the desert is also a place of revelation…

In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, 
Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 
Every valley shall be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
The uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, 
And all people shall see it together, 
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 

Most of us seek to avoid the difficult desert times, but Advent carves an intentional desert-like space for us. In the midst of the busy holiday season, Advent makes space for us to pay attention to more than the food and decorations, the presents, and the parties. Advent creates time to watch in wonder, to wait, and get ready… that the glory of the Lord may be revealed for all of us to see.

So may we wait in wonder, listen to the quiet, and dare to dream with holy expectation for what God will do among us this season.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This