New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of the 2nd Week of Advent: Year A
Romans 15:4-13 and Matthew 3:1-12
“John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin 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: 7 to 9)
While John the Baptist is not the most eloquent of coastal hosts, he does get to the point of racial or genetic identity being of no consequence as far as God is concerned. It means nothing to God. God made all humanity with no intention of making one genetic code superior to another. There is no such thing as race as for as God is concerned. Race is a human made construct used to discriminate against those of us who look different, sound different, or have different traditions and customs.
This so-called entitled privilege goes further than just race or overall human classifications. John speaks of direct human descendants, he speaks of direct offspring, sons and daughters. In 1st Samuel we learn that Samuel was received by Eli to raise because his sons deviated from Eli’s teachings. And then, later we learn that Samuel himself, had sons that did not keep in Samuel’s ways. Whether kings, or judges, or prophets or presidents, there is no guarantee our children will live with integrity as we do, if we do.
We are all God’s people and loved by God equally. Beyond ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation does not concern God as long as relationships are consensual and loving. The first concern each of us should have is personally living right and loving lives.
We humans, as part of our fear of otherness, have since the beginning of recorded history, discriminated against any look, language or lifestyle different than our own. We fail to realize that it takes many different kinds of musical instruments to complete an orchestra. The range and sound of each brings its own character into play for a beautiful communal sound. The one tone that each instrument has is middle C. The one tone that we all have regardless of our different makeup is middle “C,” Christ. Christ is made manifest in many ways but always gracious and glorious, bringing orchestral beauty to the whole of the community.
It is so important on each of us to live loving lives as examples to those who come after us as well as to show God who we are. When are we going to stop fearing others and start truly accepting others, others different than ourselves? God is able to bring children to Christ from rocks, and as far as music goes, that really rocks.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Iran and China.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John