Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

2nd Sunday of Advent – Year A RCL

Isaiah 11:1-10, Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12

Advent is a time of waiting…

It is a time of hopeful anticipation and cheerful expectation of God breaking into our lives anew!
The reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans says, “Whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”

The lesson from Isaiah describes even more fully what is hoped for. Saying that The spirit of the Lord will rest upon the one that is a descendant of Jesse, that is Jesus. “He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth.”

When we judge with our eyes and ears, we often bring our preconceptions and prejudices. But when we judge with our heart, that is with righteousness and compassion, as Jesus did, this will bring about the kind of harmony that allows the wolf to live with the lamb and the leopard to lie down with the kid.

This is surely something to be hopeful for… and if possible, to help bring about.

But the gospel text from Matthew has a very different tone. It doesn’t seem to speak of hope at all. Instead, it begins with a call by John the Baptist to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

I don’t know about you, any sentence that begins with REPENT is surely not one of HOPE… or is it?

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: