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Series: "A New Beginning For Humanity And Continuity For Geneva"

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

"Something New-An 'other' World": a Reflection on Isaiah 40:1-11 and 2 Peter 3:8-15a


This is the Second Sunday of Advent, and we light the peace candle. Last week, the First Sunday of Advent, the hope candle was lit. Both the hope and peace candles bring light into the world. The story of Advent is about the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. The story of Advent is the story of the incarnation, God coming to earth fully human, yet fully God. The story of Advent equips Christians for faithful witness of the good news of Jesus Christ. Advent’s call is to discover something new: an “other” world.

Isaiah 40:1-11 and 2 Peter 3:8-15a proclaim that culture tutors us to focus on ourselves, our betterment with less emphasis on others and their betterment.

Isaiah 40:1-11 beckons us to bring others, strangers, comfort instead of demonization.

2 Peter 3:8-15a beckons us to bring others, strangers, persevering hope, and peace instead of despair and chaos.

God’s plan for redemption, for the something new: an “other” world, is a plan for restoration of alienated and broken people and an alienated and broken world. The name of Jesus is a common Jewish name, Yeshua/Joshua (“Yahweh saves”), in Hebrew. The road prepared for Jesus to walk by John the Baptist was a sharp detour from the power of the Roman road. Jesus challenged established religious and political systems. Jesus confronted oppression and the marginalization of people offering hope and a peace which surpassed any rational and logical understanding.[1]

On this Second Sunday of Advent, we lit the hope and peace candles on the Advent wreath, lifting up the peace candle. Peace encourages the people of God to act. At Advent, God claims us as God’s own, as beloved. Advent announces the good news of “something new” the restoration of others, strangers.

The coming of Jesus Christ is not a onetime experience. Every day Jesus comes to us. He points us to words and deeds of justice and righteousness, giving us hope and peace to act. Jesus began something new; an “other” world so that our focus would be on “others” who have yet to begin experiencing transformation from brokenness to wholeness.

Act with hope and peace. Love others. Show others their belovedness. Yes, something new: an “other” world. Amen.

 


[1]In the four paragraphs of textual analysis above, I have benefited from the thinking of J. Clinton McCann Jr., Matt Gaventa, Michael Battle, F. Scott Spencer and Andrew Foster Connors in Joel B. Green, Thomas G. Long, Luke A. Powery, Cynthia L. Rigby and Carolyn J. Sharp, editors, Connections, Year B, Volume 1 (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2020), 23-24, 25-27, 27-28, 29-31 and 31-33.

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