Light of Life – Third Week of Advent

Third Sunday in Advent

 

The Light of Joy that unexpectedly brightened

the hearts of a Humble Band of Shepherds

 

 

Up until now, everything has been in the future tense: anticipation; promises by the prophets; preparation by angels of the principle characters – Mary, Joseph, Zechariah. Now the “future” becomes present tense in the form of an announcement: “Today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you.”

This week we explore the richness of God’s choice to announce His Coming to a “humble band of shepherds.” He who called Himself both “shepherd” and “lamb” came to the unsuspecting shepherds who were, quite simply, doing their task – “watching their sheep by night.” All of history is concentrated in this moment: even to the very dating of time: B.C. and A.D..

Our focus is likewise on the shepherds’ response to the good news the angels proclaimed: “go to Bethlehem; see for themselves”. Their response to the Christ-child was to return home, glorifying and praising God. What should be our heart’s response to the Good news?

This week. acknowledging the ultimate mission of the Christ Incarnate to be the perfect and complete sacrificial Lamb, let us likewise explore with Lilias His paradoxical role as the Good Shepherd then – and now.

You, Lord, are both Lamb and Shepherd. You, Lord, are both prince and slave.

You, peacemaker and swordbringer of the way you took and and gave.

You, the everlasting instant; You, whom we both scorn and crave.

You, who walk each day beside us, sit in power at God’s side. You, who preach a way that’s narrow, have a love

that reaches wide. You, the everlasting instant; You, who are our pilgrim guide.

. “Christus Paradox,” Alfred Fedak

SCRIPTURE

Luke 2:8-20

 

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Third Monday in Advent

 

God Most High who created us and you, knows that it is in our hearts to seek a Leader. He knows that this Leader must be a man like ourselves, who has trodden the path by which He would lead us: but it is also in the counsels of God, that this Leader, to lead us aright must be more than man, even as the sheep, who have like ourselves the inclination to follow, are not safe when they are following other sheep, but only when they are following the shepherd. ~ Lilias Trotter (Sevenfold Secret)

I am the good shepherd.”

SCRIPTURE

Good Shepherd – John 10:14-18

 

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Third Tuesday in Advent

 

There was a pretty sight in the marketplace this morning – a procession of shepherds in from the desert led off by ten or twelve little lads carrying the lambs in their arms. And the Lord with His Shepherd Heart will not set the souls down in a road too hard for them to follow – even if we under shepherds make mistakes. How the Good Shepherd follows the trail in all His endless patience. Even the torn wool on the briars helps Him on His way! ~ Lilias Trotter (4 March 1917)

SCRIPTURE

Seeking Shepherd – John 10:14-18, Ezekiel 34:11-12

 

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Third Wednesday in Advent

 

 

I must put down a dear little story told me by a friend this morning. Her small niece, aged somewhere between three and four, was heard telling the parable of the lost sheep to a cousin a year or two older. The finale was, “So the Shepherd put back the lamb into the fold, and then He mended up the hole where it had got out.” All of sanctification as well as well as salvation lay in the wisdom of those child-lips! ~ Lilias Trotter (28 May 1926)

SCRIPTURE

Loving Shepherd – Isaiah 40:11

 

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Third Thursday in Advent

 

 

Christ never promised His disciples an easy life. The road He trod for us was a rough road: how then can it be a smooth one to those who follow Him? He makes appeal, not to our love of ease, and of the good things of the world, but on the contrary, He makes appeal to our courage, and to our faithfulness unto death. ~ Lilias Trotter (Sevenfold Secret)

SCRIPTURE

Challenging Shepherd – John 16:33

 

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Third Friday in Advent

 

 

Now we turn from all these enemies, the stranger, the thief, the hireling and the wolf, who endanger those who follow afar off, and look at the Good Shepherd and the sheep who stay in His care. They are “His own,” not by force, but because He has paid the price of His life for them, and none shall pluck them out of His Hand.  ~ Lilias Trotter  (Sevenfold Secret)

The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

SCRIPTURE

Shepherd/Lamb – Isaiah 53:4-9

 

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Third Saturday in Advent

 

 

Therefore, my brother, for this first step of the way in which He calls you to walk with Him, put your hands by faith into His hands, and, though you cannot see Him, let Him look into your eyes and read your heart, and transfer to Him the true surrender that you have learned in the path of the Brotherhood, and that without a fear or a misgiving, for He can make no mistake. A new and wonderful longing will arise in your heart to know and do His will. And not only will your own faith and love be established by going forth with Him, but it is by witnessing to Him that you will be able to draw others to seek His salvation. ~ Lilias Trotter  (Sevenfold Secret)

They returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.” Luke 2:20a

SCRIPTURE

Witnessing Shepherds – Luke 2:17-20

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