Hope: Week One – Day Three

Make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! – Isaiah 64:2 (NRSV)

This has been a pretty crazy year with the pandemic, celebrity deaths, and a vicious presidential election. We’ve seen politicians on all sides behave badly and struggle to provide good leadership for our country. The way we do school and church has changed in ways we wouldn’t have imagined beforehand. We missed big events and milestones all in the hope that we could keep each other safe and healthy. 2020 has been tough; if 2020 was a food, it would be toothpaste-covered orange slices. But this verse is one we need for today. It’s about hoping for a better future.

In the second half of this verse, Isaiah asks that God might make the nations of the world tremble. He doesn’t specify which nations; he probably means all nations. It’s tough to say what is going on exactly, but it’s a pretty good bet that it had not been a good year. If we think about the historical context, this was likely written during the exile when all of Israel was under the thumb of foreign enemies. For Israel, things were rough, and it felt like the whole world was turning against God. So, what does Isaiah want? He’s not interested in maintaining the status quo. Isaiah wants God to shake things up!

Advent is the beginning of the church calendar, and this prayer seems to be a wish list for God to do new and exciting things with the new year. Remember that this week in Advent we are focusing on hope. As Christians, we are called to live with the hope and anticipation that God is still working in the world.

Imagine what the new year will be like for just a minute. How would you like for God to shake things up in our world? How would you like God to shake things up in your community or your school? Take some time today to ask God to shake things up. Tell Him what you might want this to look like. Allow the hope of Christ to shape your vision for the future during this Advent season. Rest in the hope that God wants to shake things up!

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