3rd Sunday of Advent Reflection

Posted: December 13, 2015 in Worship
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“You will say in that day: I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 12:1-6).

God’s anger is like a consuming flame, like the refiner’s fire.  Flame and fire are painful elements.  The pain of judgment seems at odds with joy – until we discover that God’s anger does not endure forever.  It is like the shadow of night that passes with the dawning sun.  Joy comes from the discovery that God’s anger and judgment, God’s fire and flame are intended to purify us, to make us holy.  God does not simply give us salvation but becomes our salvation.  And, what once was the fire of purification now becomes the water of rejuvenation.

Deliverance from judgment breaks forth in joyous song, jubilant pronouncement of God’s Name and deeds among the nations – to all peoples!  We sing his praises, for he has done gloriously!  Is there any corner of the earth that should be kept in the dark about God’s deliverance?  Shout aloud and sing for joy, “for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!”

Let us pray:

Leader: “Blessed be you, Lord God of Israel, for you have looked favorably on your people and redeemed them; you have raised up a mighty Savior for us, just as you spoke through your holy prophets of old.”

People: “O Lord, mindful of your great mercy, grant that we may serve you without fear, in holiness and righteousness, this day and all of our days.”

All Together: “Break upon us like the dawn, O Lord, to give us your light this day and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Amen!”

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