December 11th Advent Devotional

In The Middle

Wayne C. Drueck

Isaiah 43: 22-28

The Advent prophets are tough on Israel, especially when revealing Israel’s hypocrisy. Amos chides Israel for bringing sacrifices instead of justice. In Psalm 50 Israel is accused of using sacrifices in order to gain God’s favor. Here in Isaiah the prophet is charging Israel with bringing sins instead of gifts to offer to God.

But there is something odd and wonderful about this particular Advent prophet, this particular passage from Chapter 43. In the very center of the prophet’s accusations we find a statement of God’s forgiveness and a promise not to remember Israel’s sins. The prophet does not take a lawyer’s logical approach, laying out Israel’s sins one by one concluding with an impassioned plea for forgiveness. Instead, the Advent prophet puts the grace and mercy of God in the center of it all. God is in the middle. Forgiveness comes, not at the END of all things, but in the MIDDLE of all things.

That is the Good News of the Advent prophet for us today. Forgiveness is not something only offered at the end of life but in the midst of life; not after our own litany of sins but in the middle of them and over and over again.

In Advent we listen to a lot of prophets. But if we listen carefully, in the midst of their judgements, we can hear and celebrate that Jesus comes to be in the center of our lives, over and over again. We don’t have to wait for our Redeemer. Our Redemption is in the middle of it all.

Where will you find God in the middle of your life today?

 Wayne C. Drueck is a retired UCC pastor, currently serving as part time Pastoral Liaison at St. Stephens UCC, Merrill, WI.

©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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