Thursday, 19 December 2013

Thursday - Advent 3- holding fast and holding strong to the Good News

Prayer: Return to the Lord our God.  The Almighty God is full of tenderness and our compassion for us.    You are faithful and hear us when we call.  You love us and lift us back up when we fall down.  You provide us with the enthusiasm to carry out the sharing of the Good  News.   In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.


Read:  St Matthew 11: 1 – 6


When Jesus finished instructing the disciples on their work,  he continues on his ministry by teaching and preaching in Galilee. 


John the Baptist is locked up in prison but hears what Jesus is doing.   John sends his disciples to Jesus to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?”  This is an interesting question to ask as John the Baptist was the one to Baptize Jesus and heard the words from heaven.      But we have to remember two things about John.  First that he was a prophet who baptized for the remission of sins in preparation for the final judgement.    John expected that Jesus would go forth quickly and strongly and become the long awaited Messiah.    Yet Jesus has just finished saying to the disciples in the previous verses that even the  work of God can start small.    Do not get overwhelmed by the large work (or large Harvest),  it is best to start small.      The second thing we need to remember about John is he is sitting in jail awaiting death.   When one is confined to a space and death is imminent,  frequently one begins to ask questions about life.    Here John asks his disciples to question Jesus and ask if Jesus really really really is the long awaited Messiah.


Jesus tells John’s disciples to go back to John and tell him this:  The blind see,  the lame walk,  lepers are cleansed,  the deaf hear,  the dead are raised,  the wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.  Blessed is the person who does not fall away on account of me.


Do not fall away on account of me.    Hold fast and hold strong.   These are positive words of encouragement from Jesus to John and to us this day.    During Advent,  how will you be an example of holding fast and holding strong to the Good News?


Prayer:  You,  O Lord, are our fortress and our strength.  In times of storm,  to You we hold fast.  In times of despair,  we call upon You knowing that You are already with us in our lives and our work.   May the God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ grant us peace and love in believing. This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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