10 Dec – 2nd Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
‘Console my people, console them’ says your God. ‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for, that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.’
A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord. Make a straight highway for our God across the desert. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low. Let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
Go up on a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion. Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem. Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’
Here is the Lord coming with power, his arm subduing all things to him. The prize of his victory is with him, his trophies all go before him. He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.
2 Peter 3:8-14
There is one thing, my friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, ‘a day’ can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not being slow to carry out his promises, as anybody else might be called slow; but he is being patient with you all, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to change his ways. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up.
Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace.
The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:
Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way. A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.
And so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
“That with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day.”
We’re in the midst of moving homes at the moment. The disruption to our daily lives has been going on for a month now, yet there is still much to do. Each day seems to present new problems that have to be dealt with. I read somewhere that moving homes is one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life. I can believe that. I’ve thrown up my hands in exasperation more than once now and pleaded to God to just help me survive the day. My husband tells me that this is short term pain, that I should not lose sight of why we are moving.
All change is difficult and painful. The easier path is often to just do nothing. Change takes courage and a certain amount of faith that this new path you’re on is the right one. Scripture shows us that the fruits of change are not always evident within one lifetime. In today’s Gospel, the people chose change by stepping up to be baptized by John the Baptist. In the context of their time, it took courage to openly declare their faith. The Christians were not an established political and social power yet. They lacked support. They were being persecuted by the Romans and the Pharisees. But as Peter puts it, “with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day”. The problems we encounter today will fade in time. What will endure is how we treated those we encountered in the process. Were we selfish? Were we rude? Did we rise to the occasion gracefully or did we lose our composure? Did we pray or did we try to impose our will on the situation?
I hope my house woes normalize at some point. Or that I learn to deal with them with more patience. Peter reminds us that we are to aim to be “found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” This peaceful disposition is something that I’m working towards. May God guide me to make good decisions and take the reins from me when I’m too tired to continue.
(Today’s Oxygen by Sharon Soo)
Prayer: All things are possible through Him who gives me strength! I pray for God to sustain us, to help us to survive moving week.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for people that God puts around us, to help get us through difficult situations. May we always remember to be grateful for their presence.