Advent is all about justice. Not in the form of harsh and unyielding judgement but in the form of the in-breaking of a new reality, a new vision or paradigm of life which is breathtaking in its beauty and grace. Those who have been close to a newborn child have experienced the indescribable power of the creative miracle and the potent sense of newness and mystery which unfurls the moment this new reality is beheld and touched. The incarnation is highly creative at many levels and unveils a masterful social kaleidoscope of art and beauty seemingly still beyond many of our imaginations to grasp.
The season of advent reminds us to continue to immerse ourselves in the active hopefulness of watching for and participating in this in-breaking advent of God’s justice and peace which knows no end (Isaiah 9:7). Isaiah’s extraordinary vision of God’s justice which radically re-orders our present reality and banishes fear, pride and predatory hierarchies of power and re-establishes a community of shalom is a truly astonishing read:
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.