On this Third Sunday of Advent we will read from the Book of the prophet Isaiah. This Scripture is nearly the entire reading of a very short chapter 12, and exclaims with confidence the everlasting goodness of God. Although surrounded by the difficult realities of life, the prophet's words remind us that God is always with us, and the joy of Advent is captured in the faithful words of Isaiah. We will reflect on the divine gifts of God, and consider how we prepare for and receive these gifts with joy, even in the midst of the challenges of our daily lives.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Book of the prophet Isaiah. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Isaiah 12:2-6).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
Read the assigned Scripture lesson for the week. It is important to know that these words of praise for God's goodness and redemption of God's people were likely written either before or during the time of the exile in Babylon. Reflect on what it means to have trust that God is the righteous One and can be trusted to the point that joy and glory is proclaimed before the event occurs!
Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below and reflect on the last sentence of the paragraph: "God's kindness upon a believer encourages perseverance in thankfulness." Have you felt moments in your life that make this statement true for you?
Read the "WHERE..." paragraph below and reflect on trusting in God. The words "fear not" and "be not afraid" occur over and over in Scripture, providing a reassuring message about God's presence, even in the face of fear, pain, or uncertainty. How can one's trust in a faithful and righteous God help us in our lives?
Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's statement that, in God, we experience the important lesson that "to give is to gain" and that this lesson is counter to the world in which we live. Do you agree with the author's statement, or do you believe the world is filled with a mix of "gift givers" and "gift getters"?