Saturday, 12 December 2009

Advent 3 - Don't be afraid

Jerusalem will be told:

"Don't be afraid.

Dear Zion, don't despair.

Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.

Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.

Zephaniah 3:16,17

God present among us. How often do we look on that as a comfort, as reassurance? The prophet, however, refers to that presence as a Strong Warrior. Maybe not one of the first images most of us would cherish.

Looking around our world today, it will take a strong warrior to bring peace and calm. Someone with backbone.

Much as I love the image of a gentle lamb as a picture of God, a gentle lamb is not going to have much impact on a world at war.

But then, we have a pretty fixed idea of warriors too. We wouldn’t readily associate a warrior with calming love or with songs that delight rather than strike fear.

These scary images of advent really provoke us into looking at God – and at ourselves – in a whole new light.

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