ISAIAH 6:1-2A, 10-11 | THESSALONIANS 5:16-24 | JOHN 1:6-8, 19-28
The Pastor’s Reflections
As I write, the war in Ukraine grinds on with massive death tolls on both sides. The Holy Land is once again on fire. The political atmosphere in our country is toxic. If we listen closely we even hear whispers of civil war. People are telling me that they can no longer watch the news, local nor international, because it’s so distressing. I understand their response, and I admit that I, too, have been limiting my daily news consumption. Reading today’s scriptures was like grabbing on to a life jacket.
Advent is our yearly dose of hope, and this third Sunday, in particular, ignites a beacon of hope. We so need this Sunday. We begin with Isaiah’s messianic prophecy. “The Lord has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.”
Every one of us is the poor whether we have a stable income or not. Each of us is poor when we feel stuck and don’t know which way to turn. We’re poor when we don’t know how to solve our personal problems, our children’s problems. We’re poor when we feel little or no hope for ourselves or for the world we live in.
Isaiah calls to us to raise our heads. To look at the sun. To feel God’s warmth on our
faces. To give our broken hearts to the divine healer. To grasp the freedom that’s offered us as children of God. The time has come. Look with hope to the one who can “make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.”
Paul piggybacks Isaiah’s message by encouraging us to reclaim the spirit of joy, to “rejoice always,” to “pray without ceasing,” “to give thanks.”
We need to hear the prophets’ message this Sunday. We need to fix our attention on hope and the possibility of joy. Let’s conclude this reflection with one final prophecy of hope.
“Jerusalem, take off the clothes you have worn in your mourning and distress, and put on the eternal splendor of God’s glory. Put around you the cloak of God’s righteousness. Place on your head the crown of the glory of the Eternal God.” Baruch 5:1-2
DO NOT LOSE HOPE!
Prayer “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant…he has remembered his promise of mercy.”