12.09.2011

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT Year B

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 • Psalm 126 or Luke 1:46b-55 • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 • John 1:6-8, 19-28

There are some days when everything is obviously going your way.

You wake up a minute before your alarm so you don't have to be shaken from sleep, you remembered to wash the coffee pot before you went to bed last night, you get to your desk and there is only one email in your inbox and it is from someone thanking you for being you, it turns out today is a day when you are able to get a free lunch while listening to a presentation about beautiful art, the letter carrier brings you news that your investments are on the rise, a friend invites you over for dinner, and your favorite song is playing on the radio as you brush your teeth to prepare for bed.

Some days, things really go our way....AND we are lucky enough to be aware of what is happening.

In contrast to some of the other messages of woe we have read in the last few weeks, this week's lectionary readings show us some words from folks whose stars are on the rise.

The passage from Isaiah is all positive. Here the writer certainly understands the difficulty of the current situation, but he can see how things are going to be Great. He can see it and can describe it in detail. "Good news to the oppressed, bind up the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners..."! The old will be made new again, and the people of God will be restored. This is a message that brings life to a people who are living in darkness.

The writer of Psalm 126 gives us a perfect opening line: "When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream." This is a psalm of a people who have been restored and are now giggling from morning to night because they know what it is like to be without and they now know what it is like to be restored.

The passage from John is similar to last week's gospel text. We again see people questioning Saint John the Forerunner as to what he is doing and by whose authority he is baptizing people. And at the end of this passage I imagine John having to stifle his joy and having a bit of a grin on his face as he says "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." John knew that better days were coming.

And in this week's selection from the first letter of Paul to the followers of Jesus in Thessalonica, Paul gives some great (and direct) instruction to his readers. He is teaching them how to live so that they will be able to experience the same joy he experienced. He is offering them a blessing and praying that they will find themselves in the Light of God.

Some days it all goes our way.

God we are grateful for the lives we are able to live.
We are grateful for the sunrise.
We are grateful for our heartbeat.
We are grateful for the morning frost.
We are grateful for our breath.
We are grateful to know that even in
Darkness,
We are Yours.
We are grateful to know that even in
Light,
We are Yours.
Amen.

© matt & laura norvell 2011 www.settingourstones.org we want to share
this with you and hope you'll share with the world; we simply ask that
you let people know where you found these words. May Grace & Peace be
with you.

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