Advent Reflections Word

Advent Reflection | Sunday, December 13

Each Sunday we share, in place of our story, a portion of the 40th chapter of Isaiah. The people of Israel knew something about collective weariness. In this chapter Isaiah speaks to them tenderly, hopefully, and expectantly. There are some prompts to help you read this text using Lexio Divina—or holy reading. 

Consider encountering the scripture prayerfully using “Lexio Divina” or Holy Reading.  

  • Read – Read the text through once and see what word or phrase shimmers for you a bit. You do not need to know why, just sit for a bit with the word or phrase that captured you. 
  • Meditate – Read the text through again and see what echoes. What word or phrase seems to draw you in or echo in your mind or heart? It may or may not be the same as before. You do not need to know why, just sit for a bit with this word or phrase.   
  • Respond – Read the text through a third time and respond – out loud, in a journal, or in your heart. You may have a question, a gratitude, a complaint, a praise. Respond to God with all of it. 
  • Contemplate – Read the text through a fourth time and then sit quietly. Simply rest with the text and with the Spirit so that it may take up space in you and root itself in you. You may find it unfolds in the day ahead. 

Isaiah 40:18 – 24 

18 To whom then will you liken God,
    or what likeness compare with him?

19 An idol? —A workman casts it,
    and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,
    and casts for it silver chains.

20 As a gift one chooses mulberry wood
    —wood that will not rot—
then seeks out a skilled artisan
    to set up an image that will not topple. 

21 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
    Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    and spreads them like a tent to live in;

23 who brings princes to naught,
    and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. 

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
    scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
    and the tempest carries them off like stubble.