Key Verse: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,and a branch shall grow out of his roots. “
It was about six years ago while on a clergy wellness retreat that I took a walk. I walk in a particular way when I’m walking as a spiritual discipline. As my feet trace my journey, my eyes are always open and attentive to interesting elements that stand out for me. With the advent of cell phones, I’ve taken to photographing these elements and after my walk is complete, paging through the pictures to see if there’s a pattern that I can recognize.
On this particular day all of my photographs highlighted new growth emerging from dead trees, stumps, and other things I’d seen along my walk. That was an interesting observation and I began to pray about what this might be telling me.
It was that walk that encouraged me to take a scary step and begin a process of discernment about what new thing God had in store for me. It’s difficult to leave the old and familiar and step into the unknown.
It seems to me that Advent is a perfect time to be open to the unknown future. Isaiah’s prophecy was pointing forward, declaring that something new was about to take place. In the Gospel reading appointed for this Sunday in Advent we turn our attention to John the Baptist who
cries out in the wilderness pointing the something new that was about to take place (Matthew 3:1 – 12).
Some things to ponder for this week:
- How can you be attentive to the signs that God is up to something new in your life?
- How do you build in the practice of being attentive into your everyday life?
- What signs are you recognizing in your attentiveness?
- Is there a pattern to these signs?
- What new thing is God up to in your life?