We have spent Advent preparing for tonight and tomorrow – and the future hope that Christ’s presence means.
I reflect on selected phrases of today’s Gospel – the themes of being set free, of being shown mercy, of the continued covenant of our God, of the power of forgiveness, and, of a future of peace. There are four times in this Gospel that we are reminded that we “are set free” and that we will be “saved from our enemies.” I reflect on who these enemies are or might be – they could be other humans, they could be our chosen behaviors, they could be systemic structures, they could be events, etc. In December 2008, I think the reader could reflect differently on this Gospel – dependent on one’s geography. For example, the phrase “free to worship him without fear” would be interpreted differently from a Christian living in the state of Nebraska in the U.S. versus a Christian living in the state of Orissa, India. For the Nebraskan, that phrase might not have any real meaning; for the Christian Indian, it could mean life and death.
I further reflect on the who and what are the enemies in my life. It might not necessarily be people. It might be the behaviors I choose – that I need to be set free from. It might be societal systemic structures that I need to act to change.
Embedded in this Gospel is the Lord’s covenant – that He will be with us “all the days of our life.” And, that this faithfulness includes forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and a will “to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
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