Faith lets us see more than what first meets the eye. Whatever our lives look like on this first day of December, faith shows us the possibilities as well as the problems. Letting God be our vision doesn’t mean denying the challenges we face. Obstacles exist. Pain is real. Loneliness is hard to shake.
But like an artist pointing out what others have missed about the masterpiece, our Creator delights in broadening our vision. We need this divine Advent gift when our concerns outweigh our celebrations. When tasks appear longer than the hours we have to complete them. When demands and expectations overwhelm our good intentions.
The Messiah is bringing us the broader vision we need, wrapped in the writings of Jeremiah. The people fixate on the waste and desolation they see around them. They recognize their lack of what they need to thrive. But as they focus on what’s missing, God widens the lens so that the gladness and restored relationships that are on their way become part of the picture. The promise of bright fields, love without end, and a shepherd caring for the sheep grows visible when God is picturing the work in progress.
These weeks before Christmas give us an annual opportunity to check our spiritual vision. Each time I visit the optician, my lens prescription changes. Each Advent, when I examine my capacity to see God’s possibilities in the world around me, I realize how much correcting I need.
What changes might God prescribe to help you envision God’s possibilities for the world more clearly?
God, help me open the promising gift of your vision that you offer to us all. Amen.