Third Sunday of Advent

& archive, Year B.

Prayer before reading:    

Lord Jesus Christ,                   
You  call us to come
To be with you.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear you,
To receive your Spirit,
To be led by your Spirit.

Read slowly. Listen deeply. Indwell the scripture.

Season of Advent:  Week Three

In this third week of Advent, our lectionary guide invites us to linger in the wilderness, for it is here that we gradually become ready for the One who is coming, the One we are waiting for.  As we wait we are invited  to listen in as religious leaders arrive from Jerusalem, asking questions of this man who comes as a witness to the light. (John 1:6-8,19-28)

“Who are you?” the priests and Levites ask.
“I am not the Messiah,” John replies.
“What then? Are you Elijah?”
“I am not.”
“Are you the prophet?” they wonder.
“Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” the Pharisees ask.

It does not occur to these religious leaders that God had called John, and empowered him to do this ministry of preparing the way for the coming of Jesus the Messiah.

Undeterred by their questions, John remains faithful to his calling — the work God had given him to do:  To be a voice in the wilderness, directing attention to the coming One — the Messiah Jesus. Hence his reply:  “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me.”

As we stand here on this rocky wilderness ground, we become aware of others joining us here, far from the city. Men, women, and children gather to hear John the Baptizer and to be baptized. Disciples of the Baptizer are here. Roman soldiers mingle with the crowd, also desiring a word of guidance from this man who prepares the way for the Coming One. (see Luke 3:1-16)

And somewhere among the throng stands One whom we do not know.

It is in the wilderness, in this vast stretch of silence and solitude that we are stilled into the “Gelassenheit” (yieldedness) of trust, waiting, listening, and recognition.

This wilderness sojourn seems counter to what Advent and the Christmas season have come to represent for us, and the culture around us. But it is here in this desert solitude that we are given clear- sightedness, and we recognize this One who comes among us.

For your reflection:

Take some time this week to be still, to wait  . . .

. . . in solitude

. . . as you are engaged in service, in conversation.

Listen for the promptings and guidance of the Spirit of Christ.

Prayer before reading:

 Lord Jesus Christ,    
You come to us.
Help me to see as you see,
To recognize your presence.
Open the inn of my life
Prepare my soul to offer you room.    

Season of Advent:  Week Three

  • 12/5    Monday:  John 1:6-8
  • 12/6    Tuesday:  John 1:19-28
  • 12/7  Wednesday:  Luke 1:46b – 55
  • 12/8 Thursday:  Isaiah 61:1-4,8-11
  • 12/9   Friday:  1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
  • 12/10   Saturday:  John 1:6-8
  • 12/11   Sunday:  John 1:19-28