As you are well aware, over the past three weeks we have heard about the second coming of Jesus. I mentioned before that this might have been a little disconcerting to some of us. I believe this was a way for Jesus to get our attention; perhaps a wake-up call to change the way we live so that when the second coming of Jesus occurred, we would be ready for him.
Today our readings take a whole different turn. In our reading from Baruch 5:1 to 9, we hear the prophet telling the people of Israel to “take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory for God forever.” Israel’s exile in Babylon caused them to become hopeless. All was lost and they felt they would never see their home Jerusalem again. Baruch encourages them with these beautiful words, “God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.” The Israelites should no longer be hopeless; God is rescuing them from their exile.
The Gospel story from Luke 3: 1 –6 tells us John the Baptist is announcing the coming of the long-awaited Messiah. Luke actually quotes Isaiah claiming that all will be well. A new day is dawning. John is proclaiming the coming of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to keep the faith. Sometimes we lose hope. Life hands us so many difficulties that it’s impossible for us to have hope. Through the readings today, God is giving us a clear message. It’s the same message he gave to the Israelites thousands of years ago. God is saying to us: do not be afraid I am with you. I love you enough to send my son to show you that there is hope. No matter what difficulties you encounter I am here for you.
Peace and All Good! Deacon Jim