Faith Daily | 14 December 2020
PRAYER of the Week| ADVENT THREE (APBA p.468):
you have made us and all things to serve you:
come quickly to save us,
so that wars and violence shall end
and your children may live in peace,
honouring one another with justice and love;
through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord,
who lives with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 21: 23-27
23When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Glynn Holland-Leam
Authority can be a tricky thing in our world. In the time of Jesus it was much the same; the competing authorities of the Roman Empire, Religious Leaders, and those who come bearing the authority of heaven. In this passage we see the conflicting authorities of heaven and earth crashing together in the minds of the Pharisees as they try to assert their own authority over Jesus. Thinking they’d caught him in a zinger I imagine they were quite pleased with themselves. The last thing they expected was for Jesus to turn their own question against them as he forced them to confront the competing authorities within themselves. Rather than speak honestly and so learn the truth, they feigned confusion to cling to their desires for superiority and power.
Like the Pharisees there are competing authorities in our own lives that seek to take precedence over the one true author of our hearts. May we find the strength to speak honestly and with candour before our God, and in so doing find his truth in our lives.
FINAL PRAYER: from Lessons ad Carols yesterday
God of all time and all place
throughout time you have sent prophets
to bring your promises into possibility.
You have called others into those possibilities,
into awareness that dreams can come true.
You sent your ultimate promise,
Jesus the Christ,
to seal all promises, to bring all truth,
to awaken your creation into your ways
of justice and love of all that you have made
and continue to create.
In this time of preparation for the celebration
of his birth,
continue to stir in us the possibilities
of a world of completeness in hope, peace, joy and love.
We pray in his name, Jesus the Christ.