Advent Reflection

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent, Dec. 5, 2017. IS 11:1-10, PS 72, LK 10:21-24

Reflection by Keith Rapp H’13

Believe it or not, it’s been 20 years since these bracelets first made an appearance. Yep, in 1997, both the cool and non-cool alike were rocking these bad boys on their wrists (for the record, I was one of the cool ones). For millions of people, these “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelets reminded us to make better decisions and treat people a bit more as we’d like to be treated.

Today’s reading offers us a glimpse into what Isaiah tells us Jesus would do:

The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.

Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

If this is what Jesus would do, it is a tall task for us; if we are to act as Jesus did, this is a glance at what it looks like. I know that I struggle with many of these things…I am often short with my students, my family and my friends; I often jump to conclusions rather than waiting to discover the facts; I often think I know better than others. Surely this is not how Jesus would have me act; this is not what He would have done. So, as we prepare ourselves to meet Jesus in this Christmas season, pray with me…

Dear Lord, please grant me a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord. Help me to not judge others by their appearance nor by rumor. Lord, help me to treat the poor, or anyone for that matter, with justice. Help me to be faithful to you and all your creations. In short, Lord, help me to do what Jesus would do.

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