Reflection of the Week - 8 December 2020

Posted in Faith

On the Second Sunday of Advent, the Gospel reading (Mark 1:1-8) commences the story of Jesus Christ with the preaching of John the Baptist in the desert wilderness, who came to ‘prepare a way of the Lord and make his paths straight.’ We are reminded that the Advent journey is a journey of faith not just a journey to Bethlehem.

In the tradition of the Prophets of the Old Testament, John was calling the people to return to the God of their faith to lead them to better times, toward healing and wholeness, to stand against the tide of sin and destruction.

With so much of our world’s beautiful wild areas (wilderness) under threat from de-forestation, land-clearing and climate change-induced loss of bio-diversity and vegetation, there are many faith-filled people in this great Advent season of hope, praying and acting for justice for our environment, for conservation and restoration of God’s gift of creation to its abundant fruitfulness for all to share.

In the reading from Isaiah, we hear the Prophet comfort and console us in the journey of our faith. Whereas Peter’s letter tells us ‘that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day’ (2 Peter 3:8), Isaiah’s words remind us that God also accompanies us on our journey of faith as close as a Shepherd ‘gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast’ (Isaiah 40:11).

We need both the beauty of physical wilderness in our lives and the discomforting prophets. May we take time in this season of Advent to be renewed by the promises of our patient Lord wanting no one to be lost.

Source: National Council of Churches

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