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Imagining the Lectionary: Insight of Hope (Advent 2A)

Reflection accompanying images lily pads / water lily in flower

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans  15:13  The readings for Advent are outrageously full of unexpected hope and promise. Isaiah envisions new life budding forth again from God's purpose which was expressed within the life and history of the people of Israel: "A shoot shall come out of the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isaiah 11:1).

Through promise and recollection the prophet reimagines fresh realities, for the power of the Spirit is at work underneath the surface of their common life and wonderful surprises are in prospect. The shock and wonder of this is picked up in the letter to the church in Rome, which also conveys this sense of the irresistible presence of God's creative Spirit delighting in bringing new hope to birth where none might otherwise be expected.  The images of the lily pads and water lily flower are meant to make this sort of outrageous dynamic visible. As the large leaves soak up the gift of sunshine, energy flows deep down below the surface into the hidden darkness of the pond's depths.


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