For Sunday the 11th of December, 2022 (Third Sunday in Advent)
As we gather for worship this Sunday the Advent theme that “the Lord’s coming is near. . . . The Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:8-9) is repeated. This repetition comes today with a change in emphasis, however. We are encouraged now to patience and hopefulness in our waiting. “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way . . .,” the prophet says, “[for] your God will come . . . with vengeance . . . to save you” (Isaiah 53:3-4). In prison the Baptizer’s patience was tested because the judgment he prophesied had not yet come. Jesus assures him, and us, that any “delay” in judgment allows the Messiah to complete His work of healing and raising and saving, so that many more may “enter Zion with singing . . . [and be overtaken by] gladness and joy” (Isaiah 35:10).