Faculty Advent Reflection – November 27
One cannot really enter into the season of Advent without seeking to meet the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah is certainly one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament, and perhaps he is even the greatest. In fact, when we gain a deeper understanding of the prophet Isaiah, I think it is then that we understand Advent more fully.
What makes the prophet Isaiah so compelling for Advent is that his life was filled with great experiences of the divine, as well as great suffering and difficulty too. He had to speak words of challenge to the people, as well as words of comfort and consolation. Also, Isaiah was able to articulate the great dilemma when it comes to faith: Will we trust in God or not?
For Isaiah, the reading today is about providing the reasons to trust in God. The greatness that awaits is not because of human efforts, our efforts, but from the work of God who will make his kingdom known. And it will be an amazing kingdom, so far beyond anything we could create or imagine.
The only way we can answer this question is to commit to entering into that silent reflection at a time that is also really one of the busiest times of the year. In fact, the season of Advent is counter cultural to the age in which we live. At a time when there is so much busy-ness, and too much focus on the business of things, Advent calls us to deeper reflection into two questions: Who are we? and Who is God?
Delving more deeply into this, it is really true we cannot really answer the question, “Who am I?” until we have a sense of an answer to the question “Who is God?” And as we listen to the prophet Isaiah, can we hear his words of challenge and comfort calling us to more deeply trust in God?