Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Matthew 9:35--10:1, 6-8
I love Advent. It’s such a happy time in the church year.
And it’s my own church anniversary – when I converted, more than twenty years
ago now, it was the first week in advent. Advent is such a cheerful
time I think, waiting for God to provide humanity with a savior. What
a happy birth we all wait for.
In the reading from Isaiah God is promising salvation to His people.
He is promising them physical salvation in terms of food and drink, but more
than that He is promising them that their prayers will be heard, and that
their direction will be made clear. As Advent progresses those
promises become manifest. We are preparing now, making straight a pathway,
for God’s promises in Isaiah to become flesh. God is promising not only
food for physical benefit, but direction for Spiritual benefit. That
And in the Gospel reading Jesus, our savior, goes beyond that. He
himself is the answer to the promises from the first reading, but he then
gives us each other as well. Jesus is the way that is promised us.
He is the savior who is promised us. But here in Matthew, he sees so
many people suffering – people who are sick and in need of healing, physical
and spiritual. He sees people who are in need of guidance. The best
way for him to help them all is to have us help each other. He tells
his friends to heal the sick. He says that there are many in need,
and few who are helping. There are lots who need help, and we can all be
In Advent we should all be accepting the promises given us in Isaiah.
God has promised us direction. Jesus is given us; like the disciples
who healed the sick, we can all be following in their footsteps.