Advent @ NEC 1 st Sunday: A message for the confused 2 nd Sunday: A message for the oppressed 3 rd Sunday: A message for the refugee 4 th Sunday: A message for the seeker Dec. 30 th : A message for the hungry READINGS: Isaiah 9:2-7 & Matthew 1:18-25 Isaiah 61:1-3 & Luke 1:67-79 Hosea 11:1-4, 9-11 & Matthew 2:13-23 Jeremiah 29:4-7, 10-14 & Matthew 2:1-12 Luke 1:46-55
‘Just’ = that which is honourable, fair and morally right
Why did Jesus come? The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners [or the blind], to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of God’s anger against their oppressors, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— To bestow on them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a crushed spirit. They will be called mighty oaks, a planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendour. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Zechariah’s prayer A cry of redemption for the oppressed! “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago).” Luke 1:68-70 “Redemption” = deliverance, liberation, rescue, recovery, freedom.
= God stands with the oppressed God remembers his covenant “He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant — the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.”
= God stands with the oppressed God keeps his promise “He has sent us a mighty deliverer from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us.”
= God stands with the oppressed God reveals his plan “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find freedom through the forgiveness of sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”
Christmas - a message for the oppressed! Give thanks that God “moved into our neighbourhood”. Stand with those living in fear, and give them a glimpse of freedom. Share some good news!
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