Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Third Sunday in Advent
This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent. John the Baptist holds a prominent place in the season of Advent since he is seen as the forerunner who prepares the way for Jesus. In this passage from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus invites the crowds to reflect on their experiences of John. It is not sufficient simply to be curious about John, we need to penetrate the surface appearances to see what stands behind them. We need to come to a clear view on John’s place in God’s plans for the people of God. John is the forerunner promised in scripture to prepare the way for the Messiah.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of wrapping presents. In today’s picture from their book, The Present, Teddy Horsley and Betsy Bear are busy wrapping their present in colourful paper and tying it with a bright ribbon.
Lord Jesus Christ,
John the Baptist prepared for your coming.
Let John's message stir our hearts,
so we are ready to welcome you
on Christmas Day;
for you are the one for whom we are preparing.
Next Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, turns attention to Mary who prepared for the first Christmas in a very special way. The image to help prepare for next Sunday’s theme is the manger. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.
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