3rd Sunday of Advent 

(Luke 3:10-18) 

Rising sun LIWhat must we do?

We often make the mistake of thinking that we must prove worthy of God by the perfection of our efforts and our lives. We might imagine that there will come a time when we have conquered all the weaknesses of our character, that we will be able to resist the temptations of intolerance, jealousy, resentment and lack of charity. Then I will be able to invite God into my life, I will have a space worthy of God.

If we had the opportunity to plan the first Christmas would we have arranged it the way God did? Would we have planned that a consecrated virgin would be a mother? Would we have organised a stable or cave as accommodation for an expectant mother? Would we have tolerated the ‘unsanitary’ conditions for an animal shelter for the birth of a baby? How different are our ways from God’s ways!

In the public ministry of Jesus he was invited and he accepted invitations to many unlikely homes and tables. The fact that Scribes and Pharisees thought themselves worthy and righteous didn’t make them such, but Jesus, nevertheless, went into their world and ate and drank at their tables. They are put before us as images of sinful humanity and worldly arrogance. They did not know their need of a Saviour. They had no need of Advent -no need to prepare a way for the Lord!

Our big mistake might be to imagine that our meeting with our God will take place in an idealised setting where we will be ready and worthy of God. God is not waiting for us to be ready, to be in a state of perfection. How could we ever be ready? God comes to save not to admire. Perhaps God just wants us to let Jesus in, to accept his infinite love and allow him to heal and save us. 

St Paul’s assurances comfort us greatly, “I want you to be happy; there is no need to worry; if there is anything you need, pray for it; the peace of God will guard your hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus”.