Advent Sunday Week 3 - Luke 3:10-18
By Mo Kelly , Mercy Volunteer Corps , St . Vincent de Paul - Cincinnati
“ What should we do ?” – a question we have all asked ourselves when we see the many injustices of our society , in this ongoing pandemic ; as Christians wanting to live out our faith . John the Baptist answered this question three times in the Gospel , his responses each tailored to the person asking the question . The general crowd should give to others from their surplus . The tax collectors should avoid corruption and only take the taxes that are required . The soldiers should act ethically . And when the crowd was inspired by John ’ s words , he redirected their praise to Jesus .
When I read this Gospel , I see John asking the crowd to simplify their lives – get rid of the excess , give away from their surplus , and focus back on God . We are not called to go without or to live in scarcity , but rather to have enough and to give from our abundance . This simplicity also applies to our words , actions , and decisions . Are we letting the excess of the world distract us from God ? Are our words cluttered with sugarcoating or gossip or lies , or are we straight-forward in our interactions ? Are we consumed with how to serve others the “ right way ” and letting that inhibit our actions ? Oftentimes , we overcomplicate and overcrowd our life . Once our basic needs are met , let ’ s use this Advent season to remove the excess and return our focus to God , who sustains our spiritual needs and guides our next steps .
Suggestion for Service
God of Abundance , In a season often filled with “ more ,” remind me that I have all that I need through You . Lead me to can give what I can to Your people , including the gifts of my time and talents . So that I may not be distracted by the things of our world , and instead engaged in the ways of Your Love .
There is an inherent sense of gratitude that comes from living simply . I am not readily discarding or overly consuming , but I ’ m being intentional with what I own . I am recognizing the value of each item that I bring into my life .
Take time with your belongings . What do you use ? Is there anything you keep “ just in case ” but have never needed ? Where are the biggest areas of clutter in your home ?
Donate items with intentionality : if they are still in usable working condition and they are from your abundance , then pass them along to an ethical thrift store or non-profit .
Repurpose items rather than buying something new , such as using a glass pasta jar as a food storage container or to hold your Q-tips .