December 12: The Third Sunday of Advent

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for Sunday, December 12, 2021, was preached extemporaneously based on the notes below as a response to Luke 3.7-18.

  • Still in Luke –> Continuation of the John the baptizer story / message
  • Luke gives the most detailed telling of John’s message as he prepares the way of Jesus’ coming
  • Repentance and social concern
  • This isn’t addressed just to leaders. This is addressed to everyone.
  • No one can hide, not even us, not even when we try to be good.
  • 1400 striking employees replaced. $0.03 raise offered, 11m CEO
  • 80 hours a week. All choices are choices of stewardship, including how we steward one another.
  • All choices are a web of connection, and we can’t escape
  • John is realistic: he tells people how to do better without telling them how to quit
  • “All devices for maintaining an illusion of innocents must be abandoned” [1]
  • Luke ends by saying that this is good news. What?
  • “It is not good news in the sense that it will make everybody happy. It is not good news in the sense that whatever evil and injustice people have committed and still commit is no longer important. It is good news in the sense that a new reality is dawning.” [2]
  • New reality is dawning in Jesus’ coming and John — Advent — is preparing the way
  • Love the hope of Advent –> blue –> still a penitential season, a call to stay awake and check our blind spots
  • Even know that we fall –> that’s good news!
  • “When repentance and forgiveness are available, judgment is good news. The primary aim is to save the wheat, not burn the chaff.” [3]
  • Jesus has come to redeem creation. Isaiah: all flesh shall see God’s salvation
  • Repent, return to the Lord. Stay awake. Look busy, Jesus is coming.
  • Love the Lord is on the way. Amen.

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