There are some challenging instructions in this letter from Paul to the Thessalonians: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. If Paul is telling us that we should always be happy, praying, and feeling grateful for everything that happens to us, then we all fall far short....

Gracious God, thank you for always loving us. Thank you for the gift of emotions that can guide us and teach us. Help us trust that underneath all the waves of emotion and all the circumstances of life, your abiding presence is with us. We will never stop being grateful. Amen.


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Leccionario Semanal
December 11–17, 2023
Resumen de la Escritura

Isaiah speaks of the day in which God’s Anointed One (Messiah) will bring good news to the poor and hope to the oppressed. Jesus will later read this passage and declare it to be about himself (Luke 4), so we read Isaiah’s prophecy during Advent. The psalmist rejoices that God has restored the fortunes of the people. They have come through a period of difficulty, but God has brought them into a place of joy. Throughout Advent, we also look forward to such rejoicing. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to pray continually with gratitude and rejoicing, and the God of peace will sustain them. In the Gospel reading, John the Baptist repeats the theme from last week—that he is merely the messenger to prepare the way for the Lord.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11. God is coming. How do Isaiah’s words of praise and justice inspire you to act?
Read Psalm 126. How do you celebrate the justice that you have seen come to fruition while hoping for future justice? How does your anticipation of the fullness of justice affect your faith?
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24. How can you return to the basics of faith during Advent?
Read John 1:6-8, 19-28. How is this Advent season both familiar and new for you? How might simple announcements of Jesus’ coming change your experience of the season?

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