Advent Book Club Day 21

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

Today we are asked to think about belovedness belonging to all. If we can but think how we are loved by God, we will realise others must be too. I don’t know what others think, but I am always struck by how unlikely it actually is that I am loved by God, and yet I feel that it is true when I look at all the blessings I have.

When I think of others… well, to be honest, some others… I can see that they are loved by God in the blessings outpoured to them. These may not be financial blessings, health blessings or anything tangible like that. Rather, the sense from even some of those beset by troubles that they are loved by God.

It is hard to pray “God, please make me poor/sick/stressed so that I can receive your blessing.” And I’m not sure that this is what God wants. As we thought about a few days ago, God is not a vengeful God. He may have been in Old Testament times – but even then there was an undercurrent of love for is people. The act of sending his Son to us, that we will celebrate in a few days time, is not the act of a vengeful God. It is a God who loves us and is willing to offer us redemption if we will but believe.

So, what did this tell me and what did I get from today’s Bible reading? Well, the thought that those who appear to have it all, but don’t make time for God, actually have least. That we should actually stop arguing about who is the greatest in any particularly worldly way, and instead think about the ways we are equal in the eyes of God.

No direct link to today’s ‘O’ antiphon from the Nouwen thought nor the Bible quote. But instead I shall let this be my prayer today. Picking up the papers and seeing those going through dark times. The bereaved in Newtown. Those massacred in Kenya. All those facing death in the coming days.  May even a chink of the light of God lighten up their lives. Come, Lord Jesus.

O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.