Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; God has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. - Isaiah 12:2-3 (NRSV)
Advent brims with promise and hope. The long-expected Holy One is drawing near, bringing peace and righteousness.
Advent promises a great reversal! Even the natural order of things will be overturned. The lion will dwell with the lamb. The desert will blossom and bloom.
And there will be great joy! My friend Anne McKinstry wrote a joyous Advent hymn that refers to today’s text from Isaiah. Her hymn, “With Joy Draw Water” (#109 in The New Century Hymnal), begins this way:
“With Joy draw water from the spring; salvation’s living well.
The Holy One is in your midst; glad praises sing and tell.”
Drawing “water from the wells of salvation” is such a lovely image. What will that living water do for us? What thirsts will it quench? What wounds will it heal? What stains will it wash?
In our holy imagination, especially in Advent, we watch and wait, pray and hope for God’s great promised reversal. We hunger and thirst for righteousness. We look and long for justice, for love and peace and joy to flourish as those wild myrtle bushes blossom in the driest of deserts.
Today our world is broken and lost, but someday, someday, in God’s own time, God will lead us to the wells of salvation, and there we will draw water and we, and our world, will be healed.
Surely you, O God, are our salvation. Help us to trust you and not be afraid, as we look ahead with joy to your coming among us.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. and author of A Course In Basic Christianity and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: Reflections on the Atonement. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.