Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987next >
Then Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Isn’t it enough for you to be tiresome for people that you are also tiresome before my God? Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel. He will eat butter and honey, and learn to reject evil and choose good.
Isaiah 7:13-15next >
“You are an answer to my prayer.” Most of us have probably heard those words said to us at some point in our lives. In those moments we are all reminded that we are all a part of God’s larger story. It can be very humbling to know that God used us, often without us realizing it.
When Isaiah shared God’s promise in Isaiah 7, those words were a promise to King Ahaz in the midst of turbulent times. The promise? A sign! What a wonderful gift to receive. It was not a gift of resolution or resolve, but the gift of presence and care. God cared enough to encourage King Ahaz with the promise of a sign, a confirmation of God’s attention and care.
When we allow ourselves to be an answer to someone's prayer, we are playing the role of a sign from God — a sign of love, presence, and attention. To whom might you be a sign today? Who around you may need to be reminded that God has not forgotten them?
Dale Tadlocknext >
Immanuel, remind me today of the many signs of presence and care that you have given me. As I take the time to acknowledge your love for me today, help me also to be attentive to others to whom I might be a needed sign of your loving presence. Amen.next >
Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987
Dale Tadlock is a veteran youth minister who now serves as a Coordinator at Passport Camps. A Mississippi native, Dale now resides in Birmingham, AL, with his wife and two teenage daughters.
Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol - O Come LIttle Children