First Tuesday in Advent

Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-8; Luke 10:21-24

Today’s reading from Luke picks up after the return of the 70, and their report of all the amazing things that happened when Jesus sent them out on their mission to visit the towns where Jesus intended to travel.  This is the mission that they are to accomplish without the aid of anything but the clothes on their back.

The mission is entirely successful, and Jesus reminds them afterwards, that for all the glorious signs and wonders that they saw, the real cause for rejoicing is that their “names are written in heaven.”

Then we come to our verses for today, which serve as an interlude between this message and Jesus’s telling of the parable of the Good Samaritan.  These statements serve to confirm the part of the sending where Jesus tells the 70 that those who welcome them are in fact welcoming him and those that reject them are rejecting him.

This section takes it farther in that it links the mission of Jesus with the mission of God the Father.  Suggesting that to reject Jesus is to reject the Father as well.  More importantly it gives us another clue to the nature of the kingdom.  The 70 are referred to as infants.  Yet it is they who are able, through God’s power, to see such miracles performed that “even the demons submit to us.”

It is not the “wise and intelligent,”  that are the chosen vessels of God’s working in the new kingdom.  Rather it is those who are able to trust that God is the one who will accomplish what is necessary, and can be relied on to accomplish it.

During the Advent wait, we should ask ourselves.  Am I trusting that God’s purposes will be accomplished in my life, family, community, or is the only way that will happen, if I put myself before everyone else?


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