We are at the precipice of a cultural shift in the first chapter of Luke’s gospel in which he begins the nativity story
Gabriel, messenger of God comes to Elizabeth and Zechariah to announce that they will bear a son in their old age. Gabriel messenger of God comes to Mary to tell her that she would bear a son who would be called “Son of God.” A child called John becomes the messenger for a child who will be called Jesus and the world will be forever changed
Today’s Gospel begins with the circumcision and naming of John the Baptist. His name should have been Zechariah, the name of his father or grandfather. Elizabeth says he is to be called John, Zechariah confirms the name by writing the name John on a tablet. Their choice is against tradition, against the social and cultural norms of the day. Once he writes the name the messenger gave to him and Elizabeth his voice which he lost in his moment of doubt that Elizabeth could bear a child is restored.
Who are the messengers of God? How do they speak? How will we recognize them? Who will remind us that God came to exalt the lowly, fill the hungry and put down the mighty from their thrones? How can we be ready to hear the truth? Can we or should we silence the voices that seem to rebuke the messengers of God? Or, let them speak so that the voice that calls us to kindness, constancy and humility as a way to justice can be heard more clearly next to the voice that silences those who are lowly or hungry. May the courage of those who came before us be with us today.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Service Learning
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent