Read this passage again. And then once more, slower this time. Let these words sink into your bones. This is praise. If you need an attitude adjustment today, these verses can help you get there.
Sometimes we just need a lift. Looking at the details of the day, meeting the demands of our calendar and others’ needs, we could benefit from a long breath and a look up to the sky. Sometimes the day seems dry and dusty, and our spiritual throats seem parched and dry. Compare that sensation with the words of this passage. God’s love is the fountain of life. Have you ever experienced the physical respite that a cool drink of water can give? Perhaps you were walking a long trail in the mountains and discovered a natural spring of water, spraying out from the ancient rocks and tender spring flowers. Imagine walking across a hot, burning desert and seeing over the next hill a beautiful green oasis complete with towering palm trees and a flowing fountain of water.
My great-grandparents’ North Carolina mountain farm had a natural spring with the coldest water I have ever tasted. My dad once told me of the exquisite taste of drinking water drawn from that spring with a crude cup made of natural gourd on a hot summer afternoon while he played with his cousins around the stream. I remember playing with my cousins, another generation later, around that same spring. We stored the watermelon that we would cut later in the evening and drank from the cold pitcher of tea that had been submerged in the water all morning. That pitcher of tea needed no ice because of the cold temperature of the subterranean water. Refreshing, tasteful, welcomed. Such is the love of God.
May you experience God’s love today like a fountain of refreshing water that can bring rejuvenation to your tired and thirsty soul.
Popular conceptions of God sometimes mislead us. Messages coming even from within Christianity sometimes make us think that God is constantly angry, just waiting for us to slip up. This week’s readings remind us of the truth. Isaiah teaches us that God delights in God’s people just as a groom delights in his bride. This love, the psalmist proclaims, is steadfast and never-ending. The life of Jesus shows us that God even wants us to have a good time in this life. Jesus chooses a wedding as the place to perform his first sign. He multiplies the wine in order to multiply the enjoyment of the guests. Paul in First Corinthians speaks of spiritual gifts. These gifts are all given by God for the good of the entire community.
Read Isaiah 62:1-5. Recall a time when you have flourished and a time when your life was far from peace and order. How did you feel God’s delight in each situation?
Read Psalm 36:5-10. When have you felt God’s light, been quenched by the fountain of life, or taken refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. How can you use your God-given gifts to complement others’ and to support the common good?
Read John 2:1-11. How do Jesus’ miracles help you to understand his identity as the Son of God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.