Advent 2020: Honoring God's Promise by Serving and Loving Each Other by J.Jioni Palmer
“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered[c] us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.”
December 12, 2020
Honoring God's Promise by
Serving & Loving Each Other
As we enter this Advent season, we lament the persistence of a pandemic that spares no one, but disproportionately wreaks havoc on those of us already in precarious positions. We pray for deliverance, not only from Covid-19, but also the theological, political, social, economic, and environmental viruses alienating, misusing, and abusing people and resources—both those that are God-given and human-made.
Like the Hebrew people who lamented the destruction of their temple and Babylonian exile, we too grieve the inability to worship and fellowship in our own cathedral on M Street. But the Prophet Isaiah reminds us today, as he did the people of his time, that God’s awesomeness will be revealed in unexpected ways.
Lest we forget in our disparity, Advent reminds us God’s promise is coming with the birth of Jesus. The incarnation of God in the human form, surely caused nations to tremble because it challenged systems that privileged proximity to earthly powers on behalf of those furthest from the center. The teaching, preaching, and healing ministry of Jesus, not only reaffirms the intimacy of our relationship with God established during Creation but also serves as a model for how we should relate to all of creation. We are the clay and God, through Jesus, is our potter whose unspeakable love molded us into the vessels we are.
during this Advent season, let us not fill our bowls with fear and despair, but with faith and determination in Your promise through the birth of Jesus.
We are covered from the evils in our midst through our commitment to serve and love each other in the way Jesus served and loved us.
Brother J. Jioni Palmer
Noon Day Bible Study
Join us in a time of reflection, anticipation, and contemplation during the season of Advent 2020.
Each day a new reflection with a scripture and prayer will be posted on the Metropolitan AME Church website and social media to encourage you to hear the words of those reflecting, anticipating, and contemplating with you in community as we thank God for what God has done, notice what God is actively doing and anticipate what God will do next.
Read along with us each day or download the book to read and write along with us offline. Chart and journal for yourself what God has done, what God is doing, and what God is illuminating for you in this season.