Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Bud Will Blossom

November 29, 2011

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

By Beth DeCristofaro

On that day, A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:1-3)

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. (Luke 10:21)


In this, your Season Lord, may I seek peace. May I be open to inner peace which calls me to silence my own internal tapes allowing me to hear your voice. May I strive for formidable peace, standing up for justice without judging. May I choose peace in my interactions with others and even myself, that gentle peace of love, forgiveness and mercy which you extend to me. May I hope for the vibrant peace of the greening bud that is your presence in the world.


On store shelves you can find bulbs this time of year, dry brownish lumps which we plant, water and “force” to flower into beautiful amaryllis, narcissus and other flowers. The beauty is inside. It just takes some care and attention to allow it to flourish.

The images from Isaiah are like those flowers in beauty and potential but oh, so out of sight. Can we really imagine that the “lion shall eat hay like the ox”, and “the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb” ? Many days, I cannot. Some days I feel just like the amaryllis bulb, or perhaps more accurately, a bulb of garlic. Not much lovely scent, no flowers, just a witheredness of spirit. Perhaps I read too many headlines or it has been a challenging day at work or I realize how many duties and promises I have left unfulfilled.

Somehow, the images of Isaiah speak to me. I have hope of being a vegetarian lion rather than the ruthless hunter. Or I can revitalize by being guest, fed and nurtured rather than fierce and individual. God grants me the shoot within my dried up stump, the blossom within the withered roots. The hope is there, and this Advent season gives me time to water and attend to it even if those optimistic images never come to fruition in my life.


The Christmas season SCREAMS in the US of A, not always in a very good way. What if you put “peace” at the top of your Christmas list? How can you give it to yourself and others?