December 17, 2016

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

2 Samuel 7:23-29

John 3:31-36

He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

[John 3:34]

dec27th-shopshopshop1The closer we get to Christmas the more voices we are going to hear trying to get our attention. Although I get plenty of donation requests in the mail throughout the year, it seems that the mailbox is full of them as December approaches. I don’t need to tell anyone about the newspaper ads and the television commercials that take over the airwaves during this time.

And it’s not only the voices of merchants competing for your business. Friends and family need your ear.

It’s at times like this that we need to hear a different voice – a voice of…comfort.

The assigned Gospel reading from John tells us of a voice that speaks the words of God. That voice is the voice of Jesus. yet when he came the world, for the most part, ignored him. As our reading tells us, no one accepted his testimony.

In the barren wasteland of “busy-ness” and commercialism, we are invited to hear that voice that calls us to set aside those things that whither, and fade; to turn away from those temporary pleasures that leave us emptier than before. Let us hear that voice that calls us to prepare to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. We need to hear that voice above all others; the only voice that can truly fill us with joy – the voice of the LORD.

From heav’n above to earth I come

          to bring good news to ev’ryone!

          Glad tidings of great joy I bring

          to all the world, and gladly sing

[From Heaven Above

Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Hymn #268]

Published by pastorallende

Retired Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Social justice and immigration reform advocate. Micah 6:8. Fluent in English and Spanish. I enjoy music and sports.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: