Monday, December 3, 2012
By Erica Barnhill
Scripture: Numbers 17:1-11
The gorgeous imagery of Aaron’s wooden staff bursting forth into bud, then blossom, then almonds is hardly what we would think of as a“typical” advent text. Taking place during the Israelites’ forty years in the wilderness, this passage comes on the heels of mass rebellion and mass smiting (to the tune of God killing more than 15,000 Israelites and threatening to wipe out the entire nation) over the issue of who is permitted in the priesthood. In the end, though, this miracle reaffirms that Aaron is God’s chosen high priest and the Israelites accept that choice.
Life would certainly be easier if God had stuck with the “write down all the options on sticks and I’ll pick one” system for guiding our major life choices. Instead, too often we are without such obvious signs, and it is easy for the voice of God to be drowned out by the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. God is still speaking – albeit in a whisper rather than a shout — so as we return once again to Advent, to this time of preparation and reflection, to the stories we know so well, let us make time to quiet ourselves and listen.
Prayer: God of miracles, help me to keep my heart and mind quiet during this season of Advent, and to be mindful of the One for whom we wait.