Third Sunday of Advent – Year A Anticipation of Great Joy

All the passages for the third Sunday of Advent centre on recognizing who God is, the coming of Christ and who is, and what they mean for humanity.

The passage from Isaiah 35 celebrates the coming ofglory of the Lord, the majesty of our God” saying,

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool .” (verses 5 to 7)

Psalm 146 talks about the happiness that come from the Lord, and echoes the sentiments found in Isaiah 35. And Luke 1, Mary’s Song, is a praise and adoration passage to God and Christ. James 5 encourages patience for the coming of the Lord and uses the metaphor of the farmer waiting for the harvest which needs the early and late rains. And lastly, but certainly not least, we have the passage from Matthew 11 where John the Baptist is languishing in Herod’s prison and inquires of Jesus as to whether he is the one they have been waiting for. Jesus answers him by referring to the passages from Psalms and Isaiah.

The passage from Revelation, which is the “Sip of Scripture” for this day, works will with this theme, placing the Lord and Christ who we  celebrate this season, in heaven where they are completing the work that was started with the birth of Jesus.

May this third Sunday of Advent find you anticipating the arrival of baby Jesus, and looking towards the coming fulfillment of God’s work in the world. Selah!

GRACE AND PEACE . . . Coming at the end of all things

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. “ (Revelations 1:4b – 5b from Revelation 1:1-20 )

I had to wonder who the “seven spirits” were. Seven is an important number and is the number of churches addressed by the writer of Revelation, and the number seven appears several time throughout Revelation, one of the instances being the number of seals. In this instance, in this portion of the the book of Revelation, the seven spirits represent the Holy Spirit in the world representing the gifts and operations of the Spirit.

Revelation is a book filled with images and metaphors, and provides quite a scholarly study. And for these next seven days we will be reading excerpts from Revelations (that is a coincidence, and not a design portend.) It is also the last seven days/week of the year long series of scripture passages. The time between the end of the these seven days and the end of the year is filled with retrospectives of previous passages. We will look at then in turn and discover what more might be said about then and how they might further illuminate our triune theme.

On this Sabbath day may you have grace and peace in your lives, and work towards those blessings in the lives of others. Selah! And shalom for your day.