Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 30:19-26
Psalm 147
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5-8

REFLECTION: “Do you see the Lord?”
In our first reading today, we hear the challenging words, "Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you." In a world full of difficulties and pain, it can be hard to see the Lord, to recognize his presence, and to feel his peace.

Sometimes, it is hard for us to imagine that God cares for us, or that we ourselves are notable to him, in the midst of this world. And yet, he who counts the stars and calls them by name, calls us too by name, in the very depths of our heart.

When this is hard to feel, to know, to accept, God provides - he sends individuals into our lives in order to reinforce his loving care through ministry in his name.

Today, as we remember the example of Nicholas of Myra, we recall one who served as a prototype of loving care for many. I bet most of us can think of another caring pastor, or believer, who also revealed the love and compassion of God to us in a moment of trouble, doubt, or fear.

Ultimately, however, no matter who ministers to us in word and sacrament, what we behold is the Lord. Yahweh himself empowers the word wherever it is preached, and breathes life into the sacraments wherever they are ministered. Without him, they are nothing. But when they are present, we behold the Lord.

How has the Lord revealed himself to you?