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Third Sunday of Advent

December 17, 2012

JOY NOT JUDGMENT

One of my great frustrations with many churches is the judgment that many people feel. Of course, in some cases, it is because people feel guilty for what they have done, but in many other cases, it comes from the pharisaical pride of regular church-goers.

But neither represents the Church I love. Our readings today are very clear: there is no place for judgment in the Church. No matter what you have done, no matter who you are, this – here and now – should be an encounter with joy. Not just a surface level feeling, but a warmth deep inside that reminds you that you are loved unconditionally.

Of course, when most people go to church, this is probably not the description they would offer about their experience, but both Zephaniah and John offer explicit challenges to the establishment and way things were typically done.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Third Sunday of Advent: (Zephaniah 3:14-18; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippines 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18)

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