Dec 8 - Advent #2

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The 2nd Week of Advent

December 8, 2018

The people living in darkness have seen a great light. ~ Isaiah 9:2

Malachi 3:1-4Luke 1:68-79Philippians 1:3-11Luke 3:1-6

Last week we reflected on the work of the prophets as they spoke to God’s people in exile. This week we have the pleasure of learning about Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth. These two were the parents of John the Baptist Jesus’ prophetic cousin. Just like Jesus, John’s entrance into the world was humble and unexpected.

Instead of an unwed mother, John’s mother was aged. Like Sarah, the mother of Isaac and wife of Abraham, Elizabeth was past her child-bearing years and had contented herself to live without children. Her husband was a good mand, a Levite who served in the Temple. Their story is poignant and heart-warming and a symbol to us of faithfulness in the midst of disappointment and difficulty.

Every Advent we should be reminded that God works in simple, quiet, and seemingly small ways. Old couples who thought they couldn’t have children, young girls who have great confidence in God, shepherds who live outside among their animals. It gives God joy to do things this way. To operate in unexpected ways. To overwhelm the powerful with the weak and upend illegitimate authorities with the simple authority of God’s New Kingdom.

From this old couple, comes the prophet of the wilderness, John the Baptist. Not only does God’s work go forth from the small and seemingly insignificant, but from the wild-eyed and eccentric too. John the Baptist takes up his role as if he were one of the prophets of the Old Testament.

Here is the Collect for this second week of Advent:

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Paul Hill