All week we will be reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. While the images of the actual cleansing of Jerusalem can be startling the results are magnificent.
For over all, the LORD’s glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain.
Notice though that there is no promise here that God is going to set the temperature of the sun at a perfect 72°, or change the world so that there is no rain or storms. Life is going to involve parching hot days, rain and even storms.
First of all because none of those things are evil in themselves. Even things like wildfires serve a purpose.
Secondly, we are once again we are reminded that free will remains. Even now that Jesus has come free will remains, and some people will still choose to do bad.
The good news is that we do not need to be afraid. During the worst storm, we know where to find our shelter. As St. John reminds us:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
As we move through this season of Advent may the perfect love of God, cast out all fear from our hearts. In the storms of life may we find shelter in God.
And, don't forget to share the light of that first Advent candle with someone today.