Sirach 48: 1-11
Psalm 80: 13, 14-18
Matthew 17: 9-13
Sometime in 2019 I decided that in 2020 I would read the entire Bible through again. So, I downloaded a Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan and began. Reading the Bible through in great tranches has reminded me of the overall story of Scripture – a story which can sometimes get lost in the granularity of the daily lectionary readings.
That story is God’s love for God’s creation and God’s yearning towards relationship with us. Over and over again God reaches out to God’s created ones, sometimes directly as with Abraham and Sarah, and sometimes through prophets such as Elijah and John the Baptist. The expression of God’s love culminates in the coming of Jesus. God becomes incarnate in order to show God’s love for us.
The liturgical year encourages us to focus on specific events in the overall story at specific times during the year. During this season of Advent, we look back to the Incarnation and also look ahead to a second coming of Christ. We look ahead and look back while living only in the present. All three of today’s readings do the same thing: they look back and ahead while existing in the present and all point to God’s love for us.
As human beings we are often consumed with both the past and the future to the detriment of the now. We only ever have this moment in time, this breath. The past is gone, and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we can trust that we are held in God’s unfailing love and that underneath are the everlasting arms.
Sr. Wendy Grace Greyling, SSJD