Sat, 8 December 2018
(Bar.5:1-9; Ps.126:1-6; Phil.1:4-6,8-11; Lk.3:1-6)
“All flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Yes, at a particular point in time, in the year delineated so precisely by Luke in our gospel, “the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.” The Holy Spirit whispered in his ear, set his heart on fire, and so called him to cry out the coming of the Lord upon the nation. And “John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,” calling all souls to “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”; being thus inspired, what else could he do? The Spirit so powerfully upon him, of what else could he think? The long-awaited Savior is finally near – and the people must be ready.
And so, sinful flesh is made clean in the Jordan River. And so “the rough ways [are] made smooth,” “the winding roads… made straight,” for nothing crooked shall meet the Messiah. We do not come to Him in sinful garb. O “Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever.” Plunge yourself into the waters that make new. Let all of the old man be washed away. “For God will show all the earth your splendor; you will be named by God forever the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.” “See your children gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that they are remembered by God,” joyful that He has come. All the earth shall be blessed through you and the royal tree that grows in your midst.
“When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming.” How can it be our salvation has come? And now “God is leading Israel in joy by the light of His glory, with His mercy and justice for company.” In His Church this day we dwell; into His presence ever we come. Obedient to the cry of the prophet’s voice, we turn from our sins and are made anew. And now our daily bread we consume.
What joy should fill our hearts, brothers and sisters! that the Lord has come to dwell with us. We eat “the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God,” and the strength we find herein He will “complete” on the day of His coming again. Let our hearts be set on fire as was John’s. Let us cry out to all flesh that the salvation of God is nigh.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Please Even Me Out" from Cleansing Human Frailty, fourth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, tear down the mountains of pride
and fill in the valleys of fear
that we might come to you on straight paths.
YHWH, how shall our flesh see your salvation? How shall we come to your glory, we poor, miserable creatures? Only because you call us to redemption. Only because you desire us to share in your heavenly majesty. And only if we make straight the way for your Son to come into our hearts.
O LORD, let us ever increase in knowledge of what is good and lasting, that we might be made pure and blameless for the day of Christ, that we might become as He is, blessed to be called your sons. O let us give glory and praise to you for such a blessing!
Restore our fortunes, dear God; may we who have been separated from you and sent into exile be brought back to your holy City, to your mountain. As on royal thrones let us be borne aloft to gaze upon your splendor and glory, O King of all the nations. Great things you have indeed done for us, for now our weeping is turned to joy and we enter your presence bearing great fruit. Alleluia!