Third Sunday of Advent
Week of: December 16, 2018
Scripture: Isaiah 12:2-6
Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield; [God] has become my salvation.
(Isaiah 12:2b, CEB)
Prophesy: a vision of the future, thankful remembering, trust, readiness — themes found in the lectionary readings for this Advent season and expressed as hymns or poetry. We will focus on one of these ancient hymns each week.
Isaiah 12 is a psalm of uncertain date and origin inserted to conclude Isaiah 6-12 — the "Immanuel" section of prophecies of war, destruction, and ultimate restoration. Isaiah 2:2-6 easily stands alone as a powerful, brief chorus affirming complete trust in God.
This psalm chorus should be our collective assurance of faith and trust on this Third Sunday of Advent. Every day seems to bring new cause for added uncertainty and angst in our already-stressed-out living. The people of God today need solid words of faithful steadfastness to counter-balance what comes in news feeds and Twitter messages.
The psalm-hymn quoted in Isaiah provides just that assurance to individuals and the gathered body of Christ: Yahweh God is the Lord of my salvation! I will grow in faith! And I will not be made afraid!
As worship artists and leaders, we need to rehearse this message, inviting others to do the same, until it is owned by all — even until and beyond those times when we sense the nearness of God in Christ, in our worship, and in the living of our days.
God of all time and space, we long for your Spirit-presence and give witness to it. Guide us — as worship designers, artists, leaders of the work of the people — in ways that prompt the sharing of Good News with others. You, God, are our salvation. We will trust you and not be afraid!
Deacon, The United Methodist Church