“On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Come then and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings from the King of Kings.”
Some celebrants may even join in today with the theme of joy, after all, we call this Sunday Gaudete or Rejoice, by wearing rose coloured vestments (finding a suitable rose colour to match the celebrant is a worthy task, if not impossible).
The joy comes in shorthand, because the Messiah brings Good News. To John’ s probing question
“are you the one who is to come or are we to await another? ” Matthew has Jesus answering by first appealing to the traditional writings (see references in today’s reading from Isaiah, and rejecting the growing anticipation that the Messiah would be a famed general and defeat all their enemies!)
Good News was as needed in 30AD as much as now. Too many today still wish for a general in or out of uniform. What is needed now, as then, is “by their fruits you will know them”…
The move is on in Victoria to have a compassionate state sanctioned (and of course with many watertight safe guards) end of life assisted suicide law. I ponder the motives of those who bring forth this proposal in the days leading up to the celebration of the Gift of he who in our tradition is
“the way, the truth and the life”.
Our claim to be followers of Jesus stands or falls on whether we are Christ like in our conduct. Each age has to help the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk to bring life. And in doing so to proclaim Good News.
Stretch forth thine hand, to heal our sore,
And make us rise to fall no more;
Once more upon thy people shine,
And fill the world with Love Divine.