Recommended readings from the third Sunday of Advent (from the Revised Common Lectionary):
The lesson from Zephaniah from last week's Lectionary readings is one of my favorites in the entire Bible. First of all, as a self-respecting singer, it's the only explicit example we have of God the Singer. (The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing - Zephaniah 3:17, NRSV)
I love this passage for a more general, wonderful reason, however. This portrays the extravagant joy of God over the return of a precious people. It also shows the Christian the joy God has over each of us when we return to the heart of God. It also shows us that God doesn't wait passively, wringing hands, wishing for us to come back. Instead, God is moving heaven and earth to bring us home. The coming of Christ which we celebrate in Advent, shows us the extent to which God was willing to go in order to secure our safe homecoming. That God loves us each and all, this much, humbles my heart and makes me want to sing for joy.
That joyful song is my prayer of gratitude today. Won't you sing your own song of joy, too?