Read Isaiah 19:18-25
Silence is kept for two minutes.
23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.”
Advent exposes that humanity is enslaved, enslaved to violence, hatred, imprisoned by sin and death. This violence and hatred gives birth to the only thing it is capable of creating: enemies, on whom is inflicted more violence, more hatred. Isaiah sees a vision of centuries-old enemies sharing a meal, of highways between their nations that are freely traveled. Egypt, Assyria the quintessential enemies of Israel now worshiping alongside them. Advent is Jesus crossing the divide that separates humanity from God and in doing so he bridges every divide. As Jesus becomes one of us all, there is no longer any us, or any them.
Prayer: Lord, we pray over the divides of ignorance and hatred in our world. We pray over people groups who have demonized an “other,” we pray over cities that are segregated still by generations of injustice. You came to us who loved darkness more than you, the light. You called us friends when we would be your enemies. May enemies call one another friends in our day.