Advent Week Three: “Exchanging Sorrow for Joy”
Weekly Supply List:
- Journal or sketch pad
- Pen, pencil, or markers
- Clear plastic cup
- Seeds or Dried Beans
Weekly Scripture: Isaiah 35:1-10 (Good News Translation)
1 The desert will rejoice, and flowers will bloom in the wastelands. 2 The desert will sing and shout for joy; it will be as beautiful as the Lebanon Mountains and as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon. Everyone will see the Lord’s splendor, see his greatness and power. 3 Give strength to hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness. 4 Tell everyone who is discouraged, “Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue, coming to punish your enemies.” 5 The blind will be able to see, and the deaf will hear. 6 The lame will leap and dance, and those who cannot speak will shout for joy. Streams of water will flow through the desert; 7 the burning sand will become a lake, and dry land will be filled with springs. Where jackals used to live, marsh grass and reeds will grow. 8 There will be a highway there, called “The Road of Holiness.” No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it. 9 No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way. Those whom the Lord has rescued will travel home by that road. 10 They will reach Jerusalem with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief.
Invitation: If you keep a journal or sketch pad, grab that, so you can write or draw about your experience with today’s devotional. Reread Isaiah 35:1-2 out loud.
Reflection: There are a lot of action words in verses 1-2. Which one(s) did you notice? What things are active in unusual ways?
Contemplation: Think about how much God would like to hear you rejoice, sing, and shout. Journal or draw a picture about this passage.
Discussion: How we can see the Lord’s splendor in the desert and flowers?
Prayer Exchange: Father God, thank you for all the ways that our natural world speaks of your glory and splendor. Teach us to recognize You in the things that you created. Help us to be faithful to sing to You and shout for joy so that others will be able to see your greatness and power in our lives. Amen.
Contributed by Craig Johnson, Spiritual Director