In this series we’ll reflect on the Advent Scriptures in the Revised Common Lectionary as a way of enabling us to celebrate the birth of Christ.
What do you want for Christmas? It’s a question we ask our children. It’s a question we’re asked by our parents. It finds its way into conversations between friends, coworkers and acquaintances.
The answers? They are as numerous as the sales flyers which arrive in our mailboxes throughout December. A blouse. A bike. A car. Some candy.
What do you need for Christmas? It’s a question we rarely ask. But it’s the question on Jeremiah’s mind. Jeremiah looks forward, literally, to the birth of Christ. And he points to two presents which this Incarnate One will bring:
14 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ (Jer. 33:14-16 ESV)
Jesus is coming, Jeremiah proclaims. And he’s bringing with him two gifts: justice and righteousness. Justice: right relationships between people. Righteousness: a right relationship with God. Justice: loving neighbor. Righteousness: loving God.
Jesus is bringing the presents we most need–the ability to live correctly with others and with God.
How’s your love of neighbor?
How’s your love of God?
Spend some time in prayer right now asking Jesus to provide what’s needed in those areas of your life.