8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
9 Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
and to fear your name is wisdom—
“Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.
10 Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
and the short ephah, which is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
with a bag of false weights?
12 Your rich people are violent;
your inhabitants are liars
and their tongues speak deceitfully.
Reflection: Into His Light — Hope of Advent
By John Tillman
In Advent we celebrate that Christ came, and is coming, as light into darkness.
The ancient church set Advent and Christmas in its place in the calendar in order to use the astrological as an illustration of the theological. In the Northern Hemisphere at this time there is a literal darkening of the world as days grow shorter and nights longer. Against this darkening sky we set Christ, the Daystar. (2 Peter 1.19; Matthew 2.2; Malachi 4.2) He is the light and hope of the world. In the setting of Advent’s darkening skies, he shines all the brighter.
Yet, the darkness we speak of at Advent goes beyond metaphor. The worst darkness that Jesus dared to enter was not some hovel or cave in Bethlehem, but the darkened hollows of our hearts in which we hide our sins. The corruption of this world deepens the darkness we live in each day and, in sinfulness, we prefer darkness to light.
This is what Micah speaks of in his lament over what will become of Israel.
What is required of us is justice, but we prefer to take any advantage we can get away with. What is required of us is mercy, but we would rather take violent vengeance for any wrongs. What is required of us is humility, but we prefer to pridefully exalt ourselves at nearly every opportunity.
What is required of us is to walk with our God, but we prefer the company of mockers, bullies, and strong men whom we would rather rely on than God.
When the lights come on we will be exposed with our bag of false weights, which speaks of the unfair advantages we take against others.
When the lights come on, we will be shown to be guilty dragons with ill-gotten treasures. Like poor Eustace, hoarding our gold, yet longing for the slice of a lion’s claws to release us.
In Advent, the Lord is calling to all wicked cities. The Lord is calling to us. He is ready to bring the light. He will cut us free from our greed and pride and sin. May we anticipate his coming and repent, laying down all the sin that he gives us light to see.
If we let him, he will save us from our own darkest dark by bringing us into his light.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Show us the light of your countenance, O God, and come to us. — Psalm 67.1
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle
Micah 6 (Listen – 2:28)
Luke 15 (Listen – 4:19)
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Read more about The Gift of Hope :: Hope of Advent
In the season of Advent, we confidently wait in a dimming world, knowing our hope in the return of the light is assured.