The letter of Zephaniah to the Philippians, as recorded in the Gospel of John the Baptist according to Luke

Wondering how to reconcile the rejoicing of Gaudete Sunday with the somewhat confrontational style of John the proverbial Baptist? Try the Glee cast approach: make of a mix-and-match mash-up approach a whole new song. Rejoice!

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice, you brood of vipers! Rejoice in the Lord and exult with all your heart.

Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? The Lord has taken away the judgements against you; he has turned away your enemies. Again, I will say, Rejoice!

Bear fruits worthy of repentance. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. Do not let your hands grow weak, but let your gentleness be known to everyone.

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 as on a day of festival.

The Lord is near. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the tree; “I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach,” says the Lord. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.  “I will save the lame and gather the outcast,” says the Lord, “I will deal with your oppressors at that time.”

Do not begin to say to yourselves, “What then should we do?” God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. “I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth,” says the Lord. “At that time, I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you.The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds at that time, when I restores your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.’

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.


About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
This entry was posted in lectionary reflection, sermon preparation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s