Theme: Advent 3 – LOVE.
Rev. Tim Rist
Readings: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 11:1-10; Matt. 3:1-12
Isaiah lived during a time of terrible war and persecution and his prophecy deals with the period 740-700 BC. He refused to give in to despair and hopelessness and prophesied that God will send the Messiah to save Israel.
- Who is the “shoot from Jesse” (vs. 1)?
- What are the characteristics of the one God will send (vs. 2-5)?
- How is the created order of things turned on its head with the arrival of the Messiah (vs.6-9)?
- What does (vs.10) mean?
- Read (vs.9) again, in terms of the theme of this verse, is your life “full of the knowledge of the Lord”?
John the Baptist certainly was a fiery character and his ministry challenged the political and religious institutions of his day (vs.7)
- What was the core focus of his ministry (vs.2)?
- What do you think (vs.8) means?
- For John, there is a connection between faith (what we believe) and works (what we do), what warning does he give (vs 10)?
- Baptism with water, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, are both very important gifts of Grace (God’s Love) (vs. 11).
- If John was talking directly to you, what might he be saying about your life?
This week of Advent is about celebrating the new life that God brings to the world through His gift of Love – the birth, life, and ministry of Jesus. New life follows confession and repentance and is a gift from God that leads to a changed lifestyle and changed action. What does God need to cut away, or burn away, in your life for new growth to take place? This can be a traumatic and painful process for some. If you need help and support, please contact the Church office 0445333430.
May you be blessed with a new beginning and new growth this week.