Advent devotion – December 22, 2009

Scripture – Psalm 146

Happy is [the one] who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. (Psalm 146:7)

The words of the psalmist anticipate the proclamation of Jesus. We will know Jesus is the Messiah because he embodies these same words that tell us who God is. God is the One who loves us without limit, who sets prisoners free, opens the eyes of the blind, feeds the hungry, and watches over sojourners, widows, and orphans. Happy are we when we put our trust in this God, when we find joy in the same justice and compassion for our neighbors.

I live in a community, like many others, that has experienced high unemployment for more than a year. The evidence of recession is all around us. Our neighborhood has seen foreclosure signs and a rise in home break-ins. It is easy to respond in fear—to put our trust in a new security system and in growing our savings account.

But security is not the same as happiness. Happiness comes in connecting with our neighbors, building community instead of building walls that cut us off and isolate us from those in need, and working for justice—in being the living presence of the one who came to set us free.

God of righteousness, we give thanks for your boundless love. Empower us by your Spirit to seek justice, to feed the hungry, to reconcile, to heal, to build community, to discover joy in living as disciples of your Son, Jesus.

The Rev. Teresa Chávez Sauceda, Ph.D.
Vallejo, California

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace.

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