4th Sunday in Advent Year A

“Ask a sign.  Make it as big as the heavens or deep as the underworld.” What a great promise, yet Ahaz did not want to rely on God. Though an army was coming against Israel and they were in serious trouble, Ahaz did not want to trust in God to defend them. It seems crazy but Ahaz had hired mercenaries to help him and that was his plan. When Isaiah offered him the protection of God, he refused. It is not that he didn’t want to put God to the test, he did not want to trust in God all together. Joseph gives the opposite example.  He makes his plans about what to do with his pregnant betrothed wife, then when God confronts him, he follows what God wants and takes the maiden and child into his house. Ahaz did not change his plan, Joseph did. Both Ahaz and Joseph had their plans and, you would think Ahaz was a smart king getting mercenaries to defend his kingdom when he knew he could not match the advancing armies. Yet, when God revealed a better plan, he did not listen.

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3rd Sunday in Advent Year A

I think John asks a great question: Jesus, are you the one we have been waiting for, or are you just another good guy or a prophet and we should be waiting for another?    I noticed one thing though when Jesus mentioned his works that He is doing, He does not mention freedom for the captive. If I was John, I would have been hoping that prophecy would come through. John, and the people of Israel, had expectations of Jesus. They thought he would be a great warrior who would overcome the Romans. Ironically, Christianity later on did overcome the power of the Romans, and even still rule Romans, so their expectations were met. John is no longer in prison and lives in heaven. But perhaps that was not what he was expecting.

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2nd Sunday in Advent Year A

“Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath, you brood of vipers?” I was wondering, what does this mean for us, a brood of vipers? John is telling the Pharisees and the Sadducees that they are full of poison, and anyone they come in contact with is poisoned. Now, I don’t know about you, but this isn’t exactly something I would like to be known as. But, what if I am full of poison? Wouldn’t the loving thing to do be to say to me, “You are full of poison,” meaning that when I contact people I harm them versus help them. John, of course, hurts them because they were causing harm and because he loved them and so he said this.

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1st Sunday in Advent Year A

"Stay awake.”  That can sound scary, as though there is something evil on the way and you better be ready or be on your guard. Or, you can think of it in a different way, like a child waiting for Christmas.  They don’t want to sleep because something amazing is on its way. And, if they do sleep, they get up early so they can see what happened. I remember when my father would take me and my older brother, Matthew, out in the early morning for some excursion. My father would barely walk down the stairs to our room and Matt and I would leap out of bed and be ready, so excited we were to head out on some adventure.

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