“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:1-4
When I was a child, the season of Advent was dominated by pondering the answer to one question: What do I want for Christmas? Every year I diligently sought to craft the perfect Christmas wish list.
Making a Christmas list was an activity filled with hope—hope that I could receive whatever I truly wanted. Yes, I knew I would not receive everything I asked for, but there remained the glimmer of possibility that wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning could be the item I most desired in the world—with my name on it.
Isaiah 64 opens with Isaiah’s wish list. He cries out for that one thing that he longs for more than any other: for God to step out of heaven and come down to make the reality of His presence seen on earth. Isaiah has written about all of the tragedy and injustice he has seen in the world. He calls out for the one thing that could set everything right: for God to come and be among us.
Advent calls us to wait in hope that God is breaking into the world. In light of this hope, what will be on your Christmas list this year?
-Rev. Dr. Pat Hannon, from The Indiana Wesleyan University Advent Devotional Guide 2011