Day 2 of Advent 2020

I am posting reflections only Monday to Saturday, as Sunday is the day of the Lord and I focus on the sermon.

“When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” 

Isaiah 1:12-20 

Wow! And I thought I was doing alright. Isaiah starts this message with a rocket. Jesus will be saying the same thing later to the Pharisees, calling them Whited Sepulchers.

The Christian songwriter Paul Field has a song entitled “It’s got to make a difference”. It is not enough to get a cozy feeling on a Sunday morning. He wants faith that’s going to make him good to someone else.

In our desire to do something beautiful for God are we forgetting something? And what’s this about feasts and festivals – are not Advent and Christmas prime examples?

In Psalm 51 David remembers “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart.”

It is the gambler who thinks he has a good hand who can lose a fortune. He would not bet on a pair of twos.

Isaiah invites his people to take stock. And where are we? He serves a God who can forgive. Sins that are blood crimson can become whiter than snow.

Jesus said it is not right to approach God harboring a grudge against a brother (or sister). First make peace and then you can bring your gift.

St Paul told King Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Come now let us settle the matter. The invitation is there.

Let us pray: Father, we come to you in the certain knowledge that the door is always open and that you will be ready to meet us. We come in the midst of our joys and sorrows, with our victories and our defeats. We come knowing we shall be accepted. We come because you are the Lord. Amen.

                                                                                               500 Prayers For All Occasions by David C Cook


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