Revised Common Lectionary Advent 2

RevGalBlogPals | 12/3/2019 | Staff
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The end is near. Continuing Matthew’s theme, John the Baptist carries a heavy load of pointing out that the kingdom of God is immanent. A source of comfort to Mary in her magnificat, it is a source of worry for those in powers. John the Baptist promises radical restructuring of the world.

“Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Matthew’s John the Baptist is an angry prophet. Annoyed that someone told those in power–the Sadducees and the Pharisees–was to come. Not only the Sadducees and the Pharisees cooperating somewhat with the Imperial forces, (warning: be very careful here to avoid antisemitic rhetoric which is way too easy for us Christians to fall into), but chances are John was neither a Sadducee or a Pharisee, but instead was from the sect of the Essenes.

John - Baptist - One - Pharisees - Sadducees

John the Baptist is the one preaching about who is to come, so I wonder if he’s mad at himself that the Pharisees and Sadducees arrived. Or I wonder if he is afraid, because he realizes that his message is spreading, and that those in power might hear it.

For those in power John the Baptist and Isaiah 11’s message of peace are not comforting one. The cow and the bear shall lie down together and the Lion will eat grass. There’s a great proverb going around that for those in power, equality looks like deprivation. The humbling of the bear and the fact that the lion can sustain itself on small foods is not a comfort to those who find security in being the meanest, mightiest and to have the most stuff.

Psalm - Discusses - Equity - Equity - Mighty

Psalm 72 discusses similar equity. Equity where the poor are not only uplifted, but the mighty are crushed. As a Western Cis-hetero-white woman of middle class, I confess I feel some discomfort when I think...
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