Our local ecumenical ministerium in Somerset holds weekly services on Wednesdays at noon during the seasons of Advent and Lent, and I was at bat today. Using the Gospel lesson from Sunday, we looked at the life of Joseph and how we might know God’s will (hint: the Great Commandment).
“Providence has implanted a divine standard or law in created beings, and in accordance with this law when we are ungrateful for spiritual blessings we are schooled in gratitude by adversity, and brought to recognize through this experience that all such blessings are produced through the workings of divine power. This is prevent us from becoming irrepressibly conceited, and from thinking in our arrogance that we possess virtue and spiritual knowledge by nature and not by grace. If we did this we would be using what is good to produce what is evil: the very things which should establish knowledge of God unshaken within us will instead be making us ignorant of him.”
This week the lectionary has us rejoicing in the words of Psalm 146 (beginning with 4 in the Book of Common Prayer). In it we find a God whose creative actions, dependable character, compassion for the poor and outcast, intolerance for wicked ways, and boundless reign make him worthy of all the praise we can give! So rejoice this Gaudete Sunday! Again, I say, rejoice!
This Second Week in Advent, what do you expect from those who govern you? In Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19, the Psalmist is looking for someone who seems to be fully human and fully divine. I only know one King who fits that description. Don’t settle for second best!