Advent Reflection -- Third Sunday
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Surely the many tasks that are a part of traditional Christmas meals and Advent treats are time-consuming. Nonetheless, the taking of the newly created goodies from the stove or oven, the always new aromas of sugar and spices, and the ever new recollection of these treats and so many others from our growing-up years is a special joy. Cooking and sharing meals is one of the most pleasurable ways to help us prepare for God’s coming Gift.
Indeed, we ready our hearts and homes with a special kind of joy for good news is at hand!
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; o come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
(“O Little Town of Bethlehem,” 4th Stanza, from The United Methodist Hymnal, Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893)