A fruit tree that doesn’t bear fruit, like the one that belonged to my in-laws, is worthless. Its lack of fruit indicates that something is wrong with the entire tree. Similarly, Jesus uses the harsh words in today’s lectionary passage to reveal that the Pharisee’s heart-orientation is wrong at the core.
As a young girl growing up in the church, I was always encouraged to base my faith on Mary’s. After all, she’s the mother of Jesus. She’s the epitome of being used to bring the …
For Joseph, there is little comfort in store. He will take in a wife about whom others whisper. He will make a cross-country trek with this wife while she is large with child, walking while she rides a donkey, only to see her give birth to the child not only among strangers, but among animals in a stable—the only place that Joseph could find for her.
As you wait this Christmas season, in the midst of drought or at the onset of a long winter, as you wait for the promised one who we all need no matter how great or small, look around at what God has wrought, how he might be bringing to birth a new creation even in the midst of drought—and praise!
While we try to make little changes in our lives and world, God is charging in with an ax. God is not interested in small changes, but rather in wholesale transformation.
Be amazed with me at how well the Psalmist anticipated Advent. Consider how our lives might reflect a patient optimism for righteousness to prevail in our lives and for salvation to be our destiny. Let us live in that expectation this Advent season.