Faith Daily | 16 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: Luke 7: 19-23
19 So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ 20When the men had come to him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” ’ 21Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers* are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Rev'd Sandra
John the Baptist was now a prisoner in the hands of Herod. His life was drawing to a close. His opportunities of active usefulness were now over. Yet even in a state of such anxiety and suffering we see this holy man maintaining his ground as a witness to Christ.
We can imagine John’s concern about the future of his disciples. So he sends two of them to see Jesus in order that they may experience Jesus for themselves and ensure they do not reject him as Messiah, unseen and unheard. John took great care to supply them with the strongest evidence that Jesus is the Messiah.
Like Jesus, John also loved his disciples and he loved them to the end. He does his best to align them with Jesus. And we see that Jesus did not rebuke the doubts expressed and responded in a way that John and his disciples would understand. He makes no formal declaration that he is the Messiah who was to come. He simply supplies the messengers with facts knowing how John would use these facts.
Jesus knew the danger John was in and the danger that his disciples were in also. He knew that they were disposed to question his claim to be the Messiah because of his humble appearance. They saw no signs of a king about him, no riches or royal clothes. They only saw a man, to all appearances as poor as them, surrounded by a few fishermen and tax collectors. Their pride rebelled at the idea that such a person could be Christ. It seemed incredible.
Yet Jesus could read their thoughts and sent them off with a searching caution: “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
FINAL PRAYER: Reverend Sandra
We thank You for helping us to make it through this difficult year.
We thank You for your faithfulness as you carried us
through times of uncertainty and loss.
Help us to keep our focus on You this Advent
as we praise You for coming to give new life, peace, hope and joy.
Thank You that Your power is made perfect in our weakness.
Direct our hearts and minds towards You as we are reminded
in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness,
that You are always with us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.