We often forget that the season of Advent speaks to the betwixt and between of the Birth of Jesus and his Second Coming. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that our first reading is from the firebrand, no-holds-barred prophet Zephaniah. He makes no bones about it. Judgment is coming upon Jerusalem. The Lord will be cleaning house: “And you shall no longer exalt yourself on my holy mountain. But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly.” (Zeph 3:11-12) All seems a little unfair, don’t you think? For Jerusalem to be sure, but us too. Not exactly joyful here just a new days after Gaudete Sunday.
I hope you are someone who regularly engages Sacred Scripture, the Bible. And I mean someone who reads, ponders, muses, meditates and wonders about God’s Word. And more than just on Sunday at church. Maybe you are part of a parish Bible study, a small faith group that gets together at someone’s home, or are taking time to know and immerse yourself in the Bible. And don’t worry this post is not recrimination about why you are not doing those things, but just a thought or two about how lucky we are that the Bible is available to us in books, online, audio, and in software that can interconnect Scripture to exegetical and theological dictionaries, books that can help us with Greek and Hebrew, commentaries, and a whole host of other tools. We are lucky that literacy is common in our day. It hasn’t always been that way.