Beloved in Christ
December has settled upon us, but the sun has spilt gold through the clouds this Saturday afternoon! Later what a joy it is to walk in the neighbourhood in the dark, and see the joyous, dazzling lights and quite competitive brilliant displays, hear the children laughing and looking up and around, and even the dogs with their LED lights flash in joy! It feels like the Mass of Christ season is here. As Christians, we lift our face to Christ in anticipation and in reflecting what this particular Advent 2020 brings to our spirits.
Perhaps you would like to light a candle and pray through this reflection
You may wish to light a candle as you say:
Dear Lord, we are surrounded by darkness. Our joy is tempered by tears of sorrow, pain and confusion and news of the world’s despair. Yet, even in the midst of this darkness, our joy cannot be repressed. For you have come to free the captive. You have come to make the blind see, and the deaf hear. You have come to bring peace to the nations. You have come to give sustenance to the poor, and provide justice for the oppressed. Come Lord Jesus AND TEACH US JOY BEYOND CIRCUMSTANCE. COME LORD JESUS AND GIVE US REASON TO REJOICE. COME LORD JESUS THAT OUR JOY MAY BE ABUNDANT, SPILLING FROM OUR MOUTHS TO LIGHT OUR COMMUNITY, AND EVEN OUR WORLD.. COME LORD JESUS, COME!
Last week we enjoyed ‘JOY’ as our theme, and this week, we move into ‘LOVE’ as the baby in the womb readies itself to be birthed into our world. And we are caught up anew in this celebration, for light comes into our lives and we kindle that warm promise.
As you go through today’s readings, how do you respond to the visions of the new heaven and the new earth that Isaiah, the Psalmist and Peter encourage, and that Mark’s Gospel heralds in the words of John the Baptist? It sounds to modern ears too good to be true. Our world often looks so unlike this heavenly vision that we could throw up our hands and call it all a nonsense. At best it is a childish dream, at worst a fantasy to escape into and ignore the world around us. But Peter offers us some practical advice, and in it some comfort. We can look for this kingdom, keep ready for it, never knowing when God might arrive to turn everything on its head. And while we look for the signs, we can work to bring a reflection of the new heaven and earth into our own lives and the lives of those around us.
John had to deny he was the Messiah many times. How easy would it be for you to refuse a position of power if it were offered to you by others?
What do you think of Peter’s desire for us to be “without spot or blemish” while waiting for Jesus’ return?
What can you do to proclaim the kingdom of God? Is it easy for you to do so? If not, can you ask God what you need to help you?
Readings for the day are:
Isaiah 40: 1-11
2 Peter 3: 8 – 15A
Mark 1: 1-8
Almighty God, who sent your servant John the Baptist to prepare your people to welcome the Messiah, inspire us, the ministers and stewards of your truth, to turn our disobedient hearts to you, that when the Christ shall come again to be our judge, we may stand with confidence before his glory; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Bishop Ian Paton will be our Visitor on Sunday, and it will be lovely to broaden into the Diocese and share some refreshing thoughts and inspirations, about other brothers and sisters out there. Please pray for him, and Carrie his wife, for the work he does and for his vision, and his particular gift in sharing it with others.
God bless. I am sure you feel heartened that we have a vaccine and that there IS a light at the end of this tunnel. Please know that you are in our prayers, and that I am here at the end of a phone to chat to you about anything you wish.
May God hold you in the Palm of His hand till we meet again!
God bless you
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