Third Sunday of Advent.

Third Sunday of Advent.

What must we do?

Once again John the Baptist is our Advent guide this week. He is approached by different people asking what they must do to prepare themselves for the day of the Lord. He has a notion that the Christ will come with fire to burn up the chaff, perhaps then jumping in the river for baptism was a sign of wanting to be spared from that fiery end. The baptism with the Holy Spirit that Christ brings is the tongues of fire above the heads of the believers on Pentecost Sunday. A very different experience from what John warns against. Perhaps this week, as Christmas draws ever closer, the Lord is asking us whether we are making the best use of the gifts that he has given us, if not, to ask again for a fresh coming of God into our lives.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.



When all the people asked John, ‘What must we do?’ he answered, ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.  (Luke 3:10-11)

  • What must you do?
  • How generous are you to good causes?
  • What more could you do?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about what you must do?



A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke 3: 15-16)

  • When have you had a feeling of expectancy?
  • What did John’s baptism with water signify?
  • What is being baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about his power to save?



I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone: the Lord is very near. There is no need to worry, but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving. (Philippians 4:4-6)

  • Do you really believe that God wants you to be happy?
  • Is your tolerance evident to everyone?
  • What do you worry about?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about his desire for your happiness?



Truly, God is my salvation, I trust, I shall not fear. For the Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:2-3)

  • Do you find trusting the Lord easy or difficult?
  • When have your known the strength of the Lord?
  • When have you drunk from the wells of salvation?
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about him being your saviour?



Sing a psalm to the Lord for he has done glorious deeds, make them known to all the earth! People of Zion, sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 12:5-6)

  • What are the glorious deeds the Lord has done in your life?
  • How do you let others know that the Lord has been good to you?
  • Take a moment to express your joy in the Lord.
  • What is the Lord saying to your heart about his presence in your life?


Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has repealed your sentence; he has driven your enemies away.  (Zephaniah 3:14-15)

  • What enemies have been, or need to be, driven away?
  • Reflect that the Lord has repealed your sentence.
  • When have you ‘rejoiced with all your heart’?
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about being his daughter/son.



The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival. (Zephaniah 3:17)

  • Reflect on the image of a victorious warrior, what does it say to you?
  • What in your life needs to be renewed by his love?
  • Reflect on the image of God dancing with shouts of joy over you.
  • Let the Lord speak to your heart about his exultation over you.

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