We are All the Work of Your Hand! (2017 Advent Reflections)

…We are all the work of your hand.
 –  Isaiah 64:8b

The work of formation is central to the mission of Body Oak Cliff.  It’s our belief that empowering people to more fully experience and embody the love of God is the best way to bring about change in the places we live, work, and play.  

Over the next four weeks, members of our community will be sharing personal Advent reflections around the theme: We are all the work of your hand”.  The phrase comes from a proclamation of the prophet Isaiah and is found in the Old Testament lectionary reading 1  for the first Sunday of Advent.  

“In the beginning,” God created me and you.   We were intimately created, designed for relationship with God and each other.  Therefore, we affirm our shared humanity, longing for justice and reconciliation among all peoples.  

But gratefully, God’s work didn’t end at creation.  At Christmas, we celebrate the good news that God “became flesh and blood, and moved into [our] neighborhood.” (John 1:1-2, 14)    In the here and now, Christ Jesus dwells and is active among us!  We are the focus of God’s work, being shaped in the image of Jesus and filled with the Spirit of love, joy, and peace.  

And more than anything, this what our world desperately needs.  Love and acceptance trumping shame and rejection.  Peace over anxiety, joy overcoming despair.  As we live lives of wholeness and healing, catalyzing good, and blessing neighbors and neighborhoods – “We are the work of God’s hand.”  

So as you and yours make Christmas preparations, we pray that these posts will be a gift and an encouragement.  May we all embody God’s love during this holiday season and in the year to come.  

Creator of the world,
you are the potter, we are the clay,
and you form us in your image.

Shape our spirits
by Christ’s transforming power,
that as one people
we may live out your compassion and justice,
whole and sound in the realm of your peace. Amen.2


The Revised Common Lectionary is a series of liturgical readings from the Bible and is used weekly and/or seasonally in many Christian churches.  
2 Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the prayers is available through Augsburg Fortress [link].