From The Deacon’s Desk for December 4, 2022

Dear Friends:

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. I hope that we are including some time to spend with the Lord during this very busy period. Our reading from Matthew 3:1-12 has a very interesting underlying theme. Matthew is a convert to Christianity. There is a good possibility that he might have been a rabbi. Matthew gets most of his information about Jesus and his ministry from the Gospel of Mark and from fragments of a book just called “Q”.

Matthew is writing to Jews who are thinking of converting or have already converted and need guidance in their new faith. Matthew needs to reassure them that the message of Jesus Christ is no different than the message God had for them since the beginning of time. That is exactly what he does in this reading. Matthew quotes Isaiah when he says “A voice of one crying out in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his path.”

Notice how John is dressed. Also note what he eats, he is definitely an Old Testament figure. When the Pharisees and Sadducees show up at one of his baptisms, John the Baptist scolds them calling them “a brood of vipers!” He goes on to tell them that if they produce good fruit it would be evidence of their desire to repent. John is warning them that they need to change their ways. They have missed the message God wanted them to have from the very beginning.

Today might be a good day to look at our own Advent journey to see if we need to change all or part of the way we live. Are we following God’s commandments? Are we kind and gentle and fair and honest as Jesus would like us to be? Christmas is 21 days away. There is still time for us all to make a commitment to change. Won’t you try?

Peace and All Good!

Deacon Jim