Pondering for Sunday, December 8, 2019

Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Week 2 of Advent Year A

Isaiah 11:1-10  Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19   Romans 15:4-13   Matthew 3:1-12

“Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9)

After sarcastically calling the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers, John the Baptist takes away any ancestral heritage they might claim as a saving grace and lets them know that God doesn’t care about the genetic makeup of people but rather their faith.  This is what was pleasing to God about Abraham.

Abraham believed.  Abraham trusted God.  God told Abraham that he was blessed and that he would be a blessing to All people.

According to Douglas Hare writing for Interpretation: a Bible Commentary for Preaching and Teaching; on Matthew, “This passage is scheduled by some lectionaries for the second Sunday of Advent,  In parts of the modern Church, Advent has become almost exclusively preparation of Christmas, that is, a time for pondering the meaning of the incarnation.”  (p. 19)

The Incarnation is God with us as one of us.  Our Lord Jesus knows what it is like to be human.  Therefore, God knows what it is like to be one of us as Joan Osborne’s song goes, “What if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus?”  This is the Incarnation.

God’s presence is not just about human so-called royal blood, not even the physical blood of Abraham. But very much like Abraham an unwavering faith that will not withhold anything from God, not even one’s only child. It is the spirit and faith of Abraham that God looks for in us as we truly are the spiritual offspring of Abraham through the connecting royal blood-cup of our Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore we are baptized into our faith and then forever partake of the cup of Christ where we taste and see that the Lord is good.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John+

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