Readings for the 2nd Sunday in Advent
Matthew 3:1-12; Romans 15:4-13; Isaiah 11:1-10
“All I want for Christmas is…a little peace and quiet!” Do you ever find yourself feeling this way in December? Now, a little peace and quiet is a fine thing, especially during this busy and often noisy time of year. But Jesus, our Prince of Peace offers far more than that. Sunday’s readings describe God’s gift of divine peace.
We see nothing that is quiet or peaceful about John the Baptist’s ministry. He cries out for people to repent, calls some of them snakes, and warns of God’s fiery judgment (Matt 3). But repentance is the only fitting response to the Peace that Jesus brings – peace understood as the end of hostilities between a holy God and His sinful creation. It’s a peace achieved only through the atoning sacrifice of Christ and experienced by all who repent and believe in him.
In the epistle reading, Saint Paul proclaims Jesus as the bridge between Jews and Gentiles, bringing peace to these formerly opposed groups. He urges us, on the basis of our shared faith in Jesus, to live in harmony with one another so that God would be glorified through us (Rom 15).
The prophet Isaiah was given a vision of creation restored at the end of age. Humans and animals are living together in peace with one another and their Creator. This peace will be brought about by Israel’s King and ours – Jesus the Christ (Is 11).