3rd Sunday of Advent-Dec-12-12-2021
Isaiah 10:1-6; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18
Our lesson from Isaiah clearly states the agenda on God’s day of salvation is praise. The preceding three chapter spoke of deliverance with strong messianic implications. Isaiah provided a psalm of thanks for the people to sing when when God fulfills His promises. Praise is the language of the day of the Lord. Our deepest fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the Water of life, for He is the living water in God’s well of salvation which can never e exhausted. Therefore obedience tot he call of God to evangelize springs from thanksgiving for the Lord’s goodness. When we realize all the glorious things He has done, we want to make it know in all the earth.
Our lesson from Zephaniah tells us God promised to redeem His faithful remnant and invited them to celebrate. Thus, He revealed two key aspects of His nature. He is a joyful and a saving God. We can depend on Him to be with His faithful people. God is the king of the universe and stands with His people to protect us against all harm. Sovereignty should cause sinful people to show reverence towards God’s wrath, but it also comforts His faithful one. We, as God’s people may rejoice, for He destroys the wicked, but in so doing saves the righteous. Beloved, in this may take comfort. We are the remnant of the church, those who have accepted God’s call through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We are they who are not perfect, but we claim a relationship with Him and come before Him confessing our sins in a penitent manner, and find His forgiveness and mercy, which sustains our relationship.
Our lesson from Philippians, reaffirms us to rejoice in God, to be full of thanksgiving toward Him, for such attitudes bring the sense of fulfillment and joy in God that affects all of our relationships. This God’s peace, beloved, a peace so warm and wonderful that the human mind cannot fully comprehend it. This peace can be a present reality for the person who gently and kindly lives life by our letting God take care of and and all anxieties we may have, and our prayers are the lifeline or connection to His peace.
Our Gospel lesson we see that the godly life begins with accepting God’s gift of salvation with repentance, a turning point from worldly values and personal greed to honesty, generosity, and contentment with what one has, not what one doesn’t have. God alone provides salvation. Redemption is found solely in Jesus Christ and no one else can save.
Arrogance marked the crowds that came to hear John the Baptist preach. Their superiority complex moved them to believe that biological identity with Abraham gave them immunity form the penalty of sin and guaranteed their election as children of God. Hon warned that like trees and vineyards, destroyed for the lack of good fruit, the process was already at work, already cutting them off from election status and promise. From stones God can raise up new children of Abraham to participate in His purposes. Only the repentance guaranteed the blessings of God’s will. John was calling those who cam to be baptized, to provide proof of repentance first. They were to share food with others and clothing with the poor; if you have truly repented and committed your lives to Christ, the unfortunate members of society will know it by your words and actions. As the song goes, “They will know we are Christians by our love,” is truly evidence of changed lives. When people look at you, what do they say about you???