O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The prophets had strong faith in the transformation that God could work in the barren physical and spiritual wilderness, and throughout the weeks of Advent in Year A, Isaiah sings and dreams of the transformation that God’s coming will work. Just as Israel came through the long wilderness wandering into enter the Promised Land, so God will again lead his people out of the desert of apathy and despair. Creation will be healed, and the wasteland of human disabilities, fears, disappointments and oppression will blossom into joy when watered by God’s grace. Isaiah is speaking from experience; he has been through humiliation, slavery and exile, but he assures us that we must keep on dreaming – not as a people of the night who wake to find their dreams are fleeting and insubstantial, but as dangerous daytime dreamers who act with opened eyes, unsealed ears, and embodied resolve to make the dreams of the reign of God a reality.
– Building on Rock, Welcoming the Word in Year A, Verna A. Holyhead, SGS