Advent Devotional: Our Holiday Tables

We don’t have to look very far to see injustice in our world. In fact, many of us can identify ways in which injustice has changed the course of our lives. If we are lucky, we have the hope that the institutions and communities that we are a part of will protect us and provide justice when it is necessary. When these systems work, we feel safe, secure, and protected, but many people in our world have no earthly hope for justice.

During the holidays, when many of us focus on the blessings and the joy that Jesus has brought us, others will be crying out for justice. What a great vision we have of Jesus in Isaiah 11:1-9, where we are reminded of his coming gift of justice in the world.  In this passage, Jesus, the “fruit bearing shoot,” will provide a harvest full of justice. The justice that Jesus provides will not only contain retribution and reparation, but it will bring about a peaceful community of lion and lamb, leopard and goat, and even child and snake. The poor will not merely be elevated to equal ground with the privileged but will all be gathered at a table where justice’s final tab is paid and we are able to share an eternally peaceful meal without the specters of fear, violence, or hatred.

As the people of God, may our holiday tables reflect God’s communal vision in a bold and courageous way so that the world would see that we are part of the coming justice of Jesus our Savior.