Here's this week's "We're starting Advent!" Bible study blog entry for i.ucc.org:
This week’s Bible reading from Isaiah 2:1-5 is a beacon of hope in the midst of chaos. It’s a dream of peace and justice when everything around is anything but peaceful and just. It’s an anticipation of something glorious when everything around seems shameful. It’s an invitation to anticipate what could be when all we can see is the devastation of what is.
This week’s reading may not speak as well to any who live in comfort, peace and prosperity, but the theme of waiting and anticipation for what God is doing and will continue to do is something I think everyone can learn from.
Waiting and anticipation are great states of mind to have as we start Advent -- preparing to celebrate Christ's birth. We know that something great is coming -- but we're not sure how it's going to play out. Waiting and anticipation get us ready to expect God to act. They help us to listen to what God is calling us to do now and what God is calling us to do in the future. Waiting and anticipation acknowledge that God is nowhere near finished with things. God is still acting, moving, challenging, loving and speaking.
Over the next four weeks -- and, yes, beyond them too – I hope we're going to spend time waiting. I don’t expect it to be quiet waiting. -- Instead I’m looking forward to excited, anticipatory and active searching! How can we look for what God is doing – How will we go where God is leading? Let’s seek to reach out to all we can to share the hope -- and say to one another -- "Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!"