Scripture Reflection - December 16, 2018

Updated: Dec 20, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent


Zephaniah 3:14-18a + Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6 + Philippians 4:4-7 + Luke 3:10-18


Shout for Joy!

Be glad and exult with all your heart!

Your God is in your midst….

rejoicing over you, renewing you, singing joyfully because of you!

Hope, peace, love, and joy are the graces we open ourselves to in this season of Advent. Graces that are poured forth in every moment of every Advent day (actually, every day) for us, for the healing of the world, for the establishment of God’s reign here and now. This Sunday we are invited to immerse ourselves in the joy of God’s love and presence with us. We are invited to yield our thoughts, worries, judgments, and biases to the simple truth that God loves us, rejoices in us, is ever present with us. Imagine if we could take this in just a little bit more, depend on this incredible truth just a little bit more, and allow it to seep into each of our daily actions just a little bit more.


In the environment of today’s political, ecological, spiritual, and financial turbulence, it is easy to forget the graces extended to us, or to water them down to simple pious beliefs and traditions or hold them in reserve for the deserving. But…this is the antithesis of an incarnational faith that embraces God in an innocent and dependent child. This radical gift of God’s presence in time and space calls us to see, believe, and respond to all situations, all people, and all moments as sacred moments of God’s indwelling presence. This is the radical invitation of the incarnation…


The grace of incarnational faith and all that flows from it is meant to be life-changing. Designed to bring us into alignment with the One who is endlessly creative, restorative, and sanctifying. Our Gospel reading today highlights how we are invited to be so much than just good. We hear John the Baptist outline the good behavior required of us and then clearly point to the more that Jesus would draw us into through the spirit and fire of his love. Goodness and good behavior are important, but faith calls us to be so much more and…thankfully…gives us what we need to be so much more.


The Advent question for each of us…as we live in the joy of the gifts of this season…is how am I going to be creative, restorative, and sanctifying in my life, with others, for others, and in service to God?


The Advent gift is that we are not alone…we have each other…we have the innocent dependent child who is God-with-us…


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