Scripture Text: Isaiah 12: 2-6 (Advent 3C)
2Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. 5Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
We love this Psalm. We love to say it. We love to sing it. It brings us joy. It is our affirmation that we trust that God will save us, that we rely on that. And we wait and watch for those lovely flowing waters of salvation. The writer’s vision is one of liberation—to the exiles, to the world, to all of Creation, to us. The destiny is clear. God is walking us all toward salvation and that is indeed something about which everyone should be joyful.
But what do we do in the meantime? What do we do while we are waiting for the promised liberation or the prophesied salvation? What do we do while we are waiting for our joy to kick in? So, did we forget? Did we forget what we believe—that God, the very Godself, the Creator, broke through all time and space and entered this world as a baby to become Emmanuel, God-With-Us? So go back and re-read this Psalm with that in mind.
Notice that it says “God IS my salvation”—not God will be or God might be or God will come when we do something right. God IS my salvation. That’s pretty major. The God who is in our midst is here to save us—not to see if we’re being good or doing right—just IS. So, why aren’t we drawing water from those wells? Those wells are everywhere, flowing with clean sparkling water. We just have to get a bucket and draw out the water. Maybe that’s it. Maybe we don’t always have our bucket handy. Maybe we’re so preoccupied with what we will be and the way things will turn out for us that we have neglected what God has given us to draw out water, to draw out joy, to draw out Light.
God created us in Joy. God created us in Light. God created us in water—lifegiving waters. It’s all for the taking. We are called to always go toward who we are meant to be, who God created us to be. But the journey is here, filled with joy and light. So take your bucket and draw out the waters. Take joy. Take Light. It is yours. God IS our salvation. Take that too, for “great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel”—in your midst…
I salute you. I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got. But there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instance. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy! Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty . . . that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it, that is all! . . . And so I greet you, with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away. (From a letter by Fra Giovanni, 1513, as quoted in the introduction of “Take Joy”, by Tasha Tudor)
Grace and Peace,