Psalm: 72:1-7, 18-19
OT Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
NT Reading: Romans 15:4-13
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
Very belatedly now, I’m looking at the lectionary readings for the second Sunday in Advent.
Often it is quite a challenge to perceive a connection between the readings. In this instance, there is the repeated refrain of Christ as ‘the root of Jesse’, the king of righteousness whom the gentiles (nations) will seek. But how does the passage in Matthew relate to Advent?
I picked up volume 2 of the new Northumbria Community’s Celtic Prayer: Farther Up and Father In, and glanced through its readings for Advent.
It says “This is the path that John marked, whose voice called in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’.”
That is it precisely. As we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord (which Christmas is supposed to represent), we need above all to repent; that is, to ‘make teshuvah’, to turn away from those things in our lives which distract us, produce negativity and unhappiness in ourselves and others, and embrace the Kingdom life in which love rules, and righteous justice for the poor, the weak, the vulnerable is brought to bear.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen.