Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Desert Blooms

The prophet Isaiah is painting more images for us this week, telling of dry lands that will blossom abundantly.

The imagery is rich in transformation: deserts bloom, the suffering heal, the fearful find courage. And all of this change comes in abundance. It's not just that the lame walk -- they leap like a deer. It's not just that the speechless talk -- they sing for joy. At the end of the passage, Isaiah promises that "sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

As we continue our Advent journey of contemplation and anticipation, where are the deserts in our lives? Where do we thirst? Where do we most hurt? What do we most fear? How would we like to experience this transformation in our own lives. What would it look like for the dry lands in our lives to bloom abundantly? What would need to happen in our hearts for us to sing with joy?

In our Gospel reading this week, the mother of Jesus sings for joy. This is Mary's song at the news that she is filled with God. Mary allowed herself to be filled with God and that fullness filled her with joy. Mary knew joy in abundance. We know, too, that she knew heartache and sorrow as we all do, but she knew the joy of fullness of faith. This is her song of celebration.

How can we open ourselves more to be filled with God's Spirit?

What is our song of joy?

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