Friday, November 30, 2018

PEC 2018 Advent Devotional Introduction

Blessed are the Feet of Those Who Bring Good News

How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
    “Your God reigns!” 
Isaiah 52:7

Advent brings a time of waiting, sometimes patiently or not so patiently, for the arrival of many things, namely Christ, in our lives. Advent brings a time of hope, of celebrating, of expectant joy. God is coming to live among us! This passage in Isaiah reminds me of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s famous quote about how his feet were praying while marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma during the Civil Rights Movement. Blessed are the feet of those who bring good news. In the wake of hurricanes in the eastern part of North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and now Florida, it is time to have our feet move. This passage reminded me of those who walked to General Assembly from Fossil Free PC(USA). This passage reminds me of those speaking out, marching, and demanding protection for our environment. I think of the roots of the trees as feet, of all the living organisms that bring forth good news of life in abundance. 

Advent is a time of waiting, but waiting doesn’t mean standing still. In this season of Advent, we are reminded of all those who have prepared the way for the good news throughout history. The prophets, priestesses, proclaiming the good news, preparing the way for the infancy of this great truth. It is also a time of Mary singing the lullaby of revolution; the lullaby and joy as resistance to what is the norm in our economic, greed-based society. Those who bring good tidings, peace, and the one who will bring salvation is not for commercialization.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…of those who climb up the famous peaks to get a new vantage point to see the world, to see the beauty of creation. This Advent, may we embark on our own journey of movement as we (patiently) await the arrival of joy. May we sing joy as resistance to the order of things, and practice faith based economics that remind us of creation. If the world is the theatre for God’s glory, as John Calvin writes, then it is up to us, as human beings, to draw ourselves again and again to the living waters of the world, to protect our environment, and to stand at the mountaintop see the beauty, and run down to proclaim the Good News. 

I also give thanks to Jane Laping and Dennis Testerman for asking me to edit this devotional, and for their work throughout the process and assembling this for you all. My grateful thanks to each writer for their creative lens in which they took the prompt, and produced what is before you. Also, thanks to Jessica Jacks for the beautiful cover art. 

Blessings, Peace, Joy, and Love to you all this Advent season.
Rev. Joanna Hipp

Joanna Hipp is a North Carolina native, residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a member of the presbytery’s Ministry Resource Committee, vice president of the Alum Board of Louisville Seminary and serves on the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice. Joanna loves minions, colorful pants and all sports. 

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