Peace that disturbs

Today’s Bible readings are Isaiah 26.1–6; Psalm 118.18-27a; Matthew 7.21, 24-27.

The coming of the Lord is not all sweetness and light. For good news to the poor is bad news to the rich. And if the coming of Jesus will set right what is wrong, it will spell trouble for those who side with the wrong. The righteous will sing ‘this is the day the Lord had made’ but the unrighteous may not feel like singing at all. And who is to say that we will be found to be on the right side?

One thing is for sure: we are never more in danger than when we think we are OK. For not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom, and the lofty city is brought down. But those who put their trust in God, who hear the message of Jesus and act on it, can be quietly confident, not in themselves but in God. The Advent season prompts us to ask whose side we are on, what values we are living by, and what really matters to us. Advent is about waiting for the God who both comforts and challenges us.

All my hope on God is founded;
He doth still my trust renew,
Me through change and chance He guideth,
Only good and only true.
God unknown, He alone
Calls my heart to be His own.

Joachim Neander (1650 – 1680)

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