Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent - December 24


Psalm 45, 46, 89:1-29

Isaiah 59:15b-21

Galatians 3:23-4:7

Philippians 2:5-11

Matthew 1:18-25

Throughout the Advent season this year I have drifted back and forth from labeling it the “Social Justice Advent” or the “Personal Relationship Advent.” Each day’s readings had elements that addressed each of the topics. With the many challenges facing the Church today either would have been an appropriate topic to correcting the course of Christianity that has led to the challenges. The readings for today, the last day of Advent answer the question for us.

The entire season of Advent has been about building that personal relationship with Christ. The passage from Philippians makes that quite clear as it states, more plainly than anywhere I have read, the value of Jesus coming to live among the people as a person.

The recent passages from Paul on faith versus the law. The passages from the prophets promising justice for people treated unjustly, without compassion. Jesus’s Gospel teachings. All of them ultimately point us in the direction of the relationship God wants to have with us. The preparation season of Advent has been ready us to not only receive the gift of the Christ Child, but to enter into the personal relationship with our God.

Christ is the pathway God provided for us. As we enter into the final preparations for receiving him, let us also prepare our hearts for the depth and lifelong commitment a relationship with Christ entails.

More than anything, let us remember, when it comes to faith, it’s personal.