Advent Week Four: “Exchanging Distrust (Terror) for Love”
Weekly Supply List:
- Journal or sketch pad
- Pen, pencil, or markers
- Your imagination
- 5-10 minutes a day
- Advent wreath, optional
Weekly Scripture: Isaiah 7:10-16 (Good News Translation)
10 The Lord sent another message to Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God to give you a sign. It can be from deep in the world of the dead or from high up in heaven.” 12 Ahaz answered, “I will not ask for a sign. I refuse to put the Lord to the test.” 13 To that Isaiah replied, “Listen, now, descendants of King David. It’s bad enough for you to wear out the patience of people – do you have to wear out God’s patience too? 14 Well then, the Lord himself will give you a sign: a young woman who is pregnant will have a son and will name him “Immanuel.’ 15 By the time he is old enough to make his own decisions, people will be drinking milk and eating honey. 16 Even before that time comes, the lands of those two kings who terrify you will be deserted.
Additional Scripture: Matthew 1:22-23: (Good News Translation)
22 Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, 23 “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).
Invitation: Read Isaiah 7:10-16 and Matthew 1: 22-23.
Reflection: Ahaz was feeling threatened and was considering an alliance with another kingdom for protection. However, God was inviting him to trust only in Him and His promises. Who and/or what are you tempted to trust in when things get dicey?
Contemplation: The promised child would be named Immanuel which means “God with us”. Through this sign God promised Ahaz that he would be with him and his people always. How hard or easy is it for you to trust that God is with you? When do you feel his presence most closely?
Discussion: In Matthew we read that God keeps his promise to Ahaz – a child is born to a young woman. When has someone kept a promise to you? What was that experience like? What affect did it have on your relationship with that person?
Prayer Exchange: Thank you, God, for always keeping your promises. Help us to trust when we can’t imagine how it will all work out. Amen.
Contributed by Michelle Bauer, Spiritual Director