Reflections on the readings of Sundays and feasts: December 2015-February 2016


Abstract
Craig, Barry M A characteristic feature of Luke's Gospel is that of the journey, with Jesus from chapter 9 resolutely heading to Jerusalem; of the more than eighty verses naming Jerusalem in the New Testament only a handful are not in Luke-Acts. Last Sunday's gospel reading was taken from the last day of teaching given after entering Jerusalem and reclaiming the Temple, and before the Passover and arrest. But Jesus is not the only one to whom the journey motif applies. Last Sunday reference was made to the Son of Man coming in power, and the exhortation to the disciples to stand ready is akin to that of people prepared for a journey. Today we return to just before the commencement of the public ministry, with John the Baptist exhorting people to prepare a way for the Lord. A simple reading of this text suggests that it is the way on which God proceeds that needs making straight, but it is not: it refers to the path on which those God rescues are brought in procession. This is the procession referred to in the second reading, for which mountains are levelled and the valleys filled so that Jerusalem's captive children may be brought back safely from the land of bondage, Babylon.
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