Advent Readings | Isaiah 35: 1-10, Psalm 146: 5-10, James 5: 7-10 & Matthew 11: 2-11
01Is this it? Is this what we have been waiting for? The text from the book of Matthew on the third Sunday of Advent captures the lingering doubt in the mind of John the Baptist, the one who announced Jesus in the desert. John is in prison, facing possible execution, and he sends some of his followers to Jesus to ask the question as bluntly as possible, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
02 In this season of waiting, we are forced to wrestle with our doubts. Especially when a season of waiting in life becomes painful and we need God to respond, we easily join John the Baptist in asking, “Are you the one who can help us, or should we look for someone else?” This Advent season, if you are waiting for God to act in some way, you may especially resonate with this question.
03Jesus responds to the question in Matthew 11 by pointing John to what has happened through him in the lives of so many ordinary people. Echoes of Isaiah 35 can be heard as Jesus highlights the physical healing of many, the resurrection of some from the dead, and the good news that has been announced to the poor. This boy born to a teenage girl in Bethlehem reassures John that God is at work, as evidenced by so many people finding hope and healing through the life of Jesus.
04This Advent season let’s share the stories of how we see God at work among us. As we continue to wait for the coming of the newborn King, let’s declare what we see God doing. Where is good news being shared with the poor? Where do we see God’s kingdom breaking in? Who has experienced healing in the name of Jesus? Where have we seen death losing its power over life? Who has found hope in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus? We need to tell these stories so we can continue to wait well for Jesus.
05There is so much more we’d like to see God do! Like John, we long for the day when all wrongs will be made right! But we continue to wait patiently for the coming of the King because we see God is at work. God is at work in the ordinary, everyday life of God’s people. Jesus is among us whenever we gather together. The Spirit is present in our everyday lives, leading us and showing us the world as God sees it. Our heavenly Father wants to constantly remind us that we are sons and daughters, whom he deeply loves. And so we wait…