From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Hi everyone,

So as of right now, we are literally two and a half weeks away from Christmas. That isn’t a lot of time if you haven’t done anything in terms of preparation and/or gift shopping, and still have to deal with work and three kids at home. Thankfully, my spouse is very organised and able to handle all the shopping and prep, as we have a lot of nephews and nieces (aside from our kids) that need a lot of Christmas-y attention.

One gift in particular that was asked for is a game for a certain console. The game is available both in a physical case (which adds bulk but allows it to be resold at a later date) or an electronic version that is downloaded onto the device itself (much easier to switch games and no chance of ever losing or breaking the game). I always prefer the electronic version myself, as switching apps on my phone with a couple of taps has spoiled me to never want to physically go up to my console and actually take out a game and put in a new one like a caveperson. But I also realise that not everyone is like that, so we needed to ask my brother (whose kid asked for this game) what he’d prefer.

Ends up that we’ll just get them a gift card and they can deal with it. We don’t want them to get the wrong thing, nor do we really want to bother so much. The gift card is the gift that you never thought you needed, because it is anything you want it to be (from that particular retailer, at least).

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

“Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” John the baptizer’s words here ring with a hint of disappointment. It’s like Jesus isn’t what he was expecting or hoping for. Jesus wasn’t laying the smackdown on their oppressors like he thought might happen. Jesus certainly didn’t set the captives free, as John was still sitting there in prison. Was Jesus who they all thought Jesus to be?

Well, yeah, says Jesus. Look at what is happening. People are being healed in relationship and community. People are learning to love and see value in each other. People are being freed from their guilt and shame. Jesus is definitely the one who is to come, it’s just that we thought he’d be different and perhaps be doing different things.

But this Jesus is doing all the right things that we need but maybe didn’t know it. This Jesus is providing the right truths that we didn’t know that we needed to hear. This Jesus is giving the right gifts that we didn’t even know we were asking for.

For this Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is among us, showing us love, grace, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. This is the gift we we look forward to in Advent, this is the gift we get at Christmas, this is the gift that we get that we may not have even asked for but one that we most definitely need.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

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