Second Sunday of Advent.

Second Sunday of Advent.

All shall see the salvation of God.

John the Baptist is our guide for the next two Sundays. Today we encounter him in the wilderness. For the Jewish people that meant a place of danger and insecurity, out-with the presence of the Lord. John however receives God’s word there and begins to prepare the people with a baptism of repentance. The wilderness of Advent, a place outside the tinsel and glitter of the time before Christmas sets us up to encounter the God who comes to us, with salvation. The word integrity comes up often in this week’s readings. Perhaps the Lord is asking us to look at the integrity of our lives, and what needs straightened out for him to come to us swiftly.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

Sunday.

The word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah.  (Luke 3:2-3)

  • When has the Word of God come to you?
  • Have you ever felt that you are in a wilderness?
  • What do you need to repent from?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about his forgiveness?

 

Monday.

A voice cries in the wilderness; Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low, winding ways will be straightened and rough roads make smooth. And all mankind will see the salvation of God. (Luke 3: 4-6)

  • In getting ready for Christmas, how are you preparing to encounter the Lord?
  • What needs straightened out in your life?
  • What does the ‘salvation of God’ mean to you?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about preparing?

 

Tuesday.

Every time I pray for you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heard it right up to the present. I am quite certain that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes. (1 Philippians 1:3-6)

  • Who do you pray for with joy?
  • What is the good work that the Lord is growing in your life?
  • How do you spread the Good News?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about prayer?

 

Wednesday.

My prayer is that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best. This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare you for the Day of Christ. (1 Philippians 1:8-10)

  • How much has your love increased?
  • What do you do to help recognise what is best?
  • Do you need to change to become pure and blameless?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about growth?

 

Thursday.

What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad. Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage as streams in dry land. Those sowing in tears will sing when they reap. (Psalm 125:3-5)

  • Make a list of the marvels the Lord has worked for you.
  • What bondage do you need to be delivered from?
  • Have you had the experience of moving from tears to songs?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about his liberation?

 

Friday

Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever, wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you, put the diadem of the glory of the Eternal on your head: since God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven, since the name of God gives you forever will be, ‘Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.’  (Baruch 5:1-4)

  • What is the cause of your sorrow and distress?
  • Reflect on ‘integrity’, what does it mean to you?
  • Reflect on ‘devotedness’, what does it mean to you?
  • What is the name the Lord has given you?

 

Saturday

The forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade for Israel at the command of God; for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory with his mercy and integrity for escort. (Baruch 5:8-9)

  • When have you been guided by the Lord?
  • When have you experienced the mercy of God?
  • When have you known the ‘light of his glory’?
  • Where does the Lord desire to escort you to?
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