Psalm 96:1-2, 3, 10, 11-12, 13
This year I did something I almost never do on the day after Thanksgiving. I went shopping and fought the worst store crowds I’ve ever seen. It was Holiday from Hades, standing in an endless line with frenzied bargain hunters just to save $35 or $40 on a vacuum cleaner.
I mention this because the experience contrasts strongly with
today’s powerful passages from Isaiah and Matthew. Both readings remind
us that this season isn’t supposed to be dedicated to launching the equivalent
of the Normandy invasion on the nation’s shopping emporiums but to preparing
the coming of a God who saves us.
Advent is my favorite Church season. It doesn’t ban us
from participating in all the celebrating but calls us to remember that preparing
for Christmas requires thoughtfulness and prayer. I find it a bracing
antidote to everything else we experience during December.
Personally I can only handle so many Muzak renditions of “Silent
Night” with loud speakers reminding us of the bargains in Aisle 6. I need
to escape to readings like today’s that speak to the eternal quest of people
for God and God’s desire to save his people.
Today’s image of lost sheep is particularly helpful during this
season. If God is looking for people to rescue, he’ll find them glassy-eyed
in just about any American shopping mall. He would have found thousands this
morning at Nebraska Furniture Mart!
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook