Advent Devotional • December 16

Monday, December 16
Written by Rev. Raygan Baker
First Congregational Church of Fresno
Isaiah 35:1-10

One of our most potent metaphors for the life of faith is that of a journey, or path; a metaphor that Isaiah squeezes everything he/they can draw from it. This journey is no easy one day family hike along a well-maintained trail, nor is it paved, yet. In our spiritual seeking, searching, and direction-discerning, there is much more at stake. This is a fraught and dangerous journey through unmapped territory, a journey that we really can’t prepare for, and demands our vulnerability as we confront the most dangerous
realities of our lives.

The good news is that we are not left to find our way alone. If we understand that this journey is a path we take, I think that rather than leading us toward an unknown destination, this vision of the journey is more of an orbit around one central claim: that it is God who saves. The path in this passage starts in the desert; which is not an ideal place to start. Except, unexpectedly, the desert around us blooms, transforms, and bursts with flourishing life. Then our very own tired, oppressed, pain-inducing bodies
will be restored and open our eyes to God’s saving action. Then our bodies are transformed and made whole, and the journey itself has been expunged of every barrier toward embracing the Divine. The prophet moves from creation to our bodies, to the central claim that God saves, back to our corporeal transformation, and finally back out to all of creation. The road will no longer be dangerous, and none of us will be lost. This is God’s action, not our own. Where do you need to admit you are lost, and
not in control?


You can download a PDF of the devotional here.

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