Advent Devotional, Dec. 4: “The Invasive Reign of God” by Vince Amlin

December 4th,2016 Categories: Advent, Latest News


The air potato is an invasive vine that came to America in 1909. Sometime after that it ended up in my yard, and after seven years of fighting it, I’ve waved the white flag.

As its name suggests, the air potato produces lots of tiny tubers, each one capable of sprouting another plant. So even as you pull it down from your trees and hedges, you are sowing hundreds more.

The master gardeners in my life will be horrified to hear it, but Isaiah’s vision of that stubborn shoot reminds me of Dioscorea bulbifera. If a harmful invasive doesn’t fit the ecology of God’s reign, it does say something about its tenacity.

God’s advent is not a feeble stalk but a powerful and prolific plant bent on reshaping the entire ecosystem. It appears destructive to those that cultivate poverty and inequality. It bends the proud below its weight and sucks up the resources of the greedy.

It is a plant not to be trifled with.

And if it is the docility of the wolf that plays nice with the flock, it is also the audacity of the lamb unafraid to run with the pack. The reign of God is a lamb with teeth and a tenacious tuber, prepared to blanket the earth in peace.

All who sow war and nurture injustice, surrender! Every wolf within me, bow to the Lamb of God!


United Church of Christ Stillspeaking Devotional Published by Pilgrim Press. Shared with permission of the publisher.