Sunday, December 6, 2015
December 13, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for December 13th: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18; Theme: third Sunday of Advent; Song: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus UMH 196 Zephaniah: This is the Sunday where we get the assurance that things are going to get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We have to remember who to give the credit for bringing us through a very dark situation. God. All of our scriptures for this whole season are more like poetry and songs in honor of God. This is the song of Zephaniah the prophet. This is a song of celebration for the exiles. This is the time for them to go back home and to be reunited as a family again. But once we get to the promised land, we have to still remember God. Just because things are wonderful, that does not mean that we can forget God. We still have to praise and thank God for all that we are and all that we have. But today, the journey is not over, we are almost there, but we still have a long way to go. Luke: This is the second week that we hear the story of John the Baptist. John gives a deep message to us about repentance. It may have been partly our fault that we were exiled in the first place. There may have been no other way for God to teach a lesson. And now he sees that we are ready to go back home. John is surprised that so many sinners are ready to go back home, and are willing to get baptized and to repent. He is exited, but knows that some of these people have some deep ingrained sin. Some of these people don’t even recognize their own dark side. Even when the best of us confess, it is by God’s grace that we stay on the side of righteousness. It is by God’s grace that we are able to live into our baptism. We still have to wait for the coming of the Lord. Humans can baptize with water, but the Holy spirit uses fire, which is longer lasting. Questions: How do you feel like an exile? How does God bring you back home? At what time of the year do you take the time to say thank you to god for what he has done for you? What does living into your baptism mean for you? How are you helping the whole community by living into your baptism?