Advent Devotion – December 10, 2010

Scripture – Isaiah 7:10–25

2010 Advent Devotion for web In one of our conversations with the street dweller kids in Manila, we asked them to draw on a big paper plate the food they wanted to eat during Noche Buena (a traditional Filipino dinner on Christmas Eve). We wanted to know so we could try to cook the food for them. In the beginning, we were expecting they would draw expensive and sophisticated dishes. We were surprised to see their dream Noche Buena foods: fried egg, garlic rice, boiled vegetable, tuyo (dried fish)—simple foods common to the poorest families. And at the edge of the plates they drew their parents and siblings. Despite their poverty, the children found simple food and being together with their families a source of joy during Christmas.

Like the street dweller kids, Isaiah invites us to look at the challenges we face from a new perspective. He did not advise King Ahaz to prepare spears and swords but to ask for a sign from God. The answer to all their fears and worries is a child who will bring salvation and peace to their land. In the midst of overwhelming problems, we get scared, too. Worse, we are aware that we do not know what the future holds. But we rest secure in the fact that God’s promise has been fulfilled—Emmanuel—God is with us and will always be with us.

Help us, O God, to remember always that through Emmanuel there is an indestructible relationship between you and us and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from your love. Amen.

Lei Garcia-Beschi, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Mandaluyong City, Philippines,
International Peacemaker in 2004 and 2005

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace.

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