Malankara World

Advent - Waiting for the Savior

Advent Week 3 - 3 Candles

Advent Reflections for December 18

Advent Reflections for December 18

Week 3 - Tuesday

For then I will change and purify the lips of the people, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord. (Zephaniah 3:9)


Zephaniah's prophetic dream of unity seems no closer to reality today than when it was 2500 years ago. Even though our world enjoys many modern technological advantages over the world of Zephaniah, it seems that there is not technological "fix" for the human heart.
"Change" and "pure lips" require personal conversion. What have I done to promote "one accord" in the world? No matter how we might view ourselves, all people are equal in the sight of God. We are all His servants.

Advent Action

Examine your conscience. Are you continually turning towards God?


The word "angel" is a Greek translation of a Hebrew word meaning "messenger." Angels play a significant role in the Christmas story of both Matthew and Luke.

Belief in angels is rooted in Jewish tradition, which regarded angels as manifestations of God's presence.

Jewish belief in angels went beyond the Scriptures and spoke of choirs (i.e. groups) of angels (a concept not found in Scripture) and names of angels. In Scripture only three names are given – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael.

The Christian tradition has retained a strong belief in angels. The New Testament has more than twice as many references to angels as the Old Testament. However, in the Gospels, angels appear and speak only in the Infancy Narrative and at the empty tomb.

The Church has made few pronouncements about angels. It teaches that angels are created beings (not mini-gods)…that they are personal (not simply "forces")…and that they do not have a material body (though when necessary they can appear in a human form.)

Gospel: The Revelation to Joseph - Matthew 1: 18-25

Malankara World Journal Issue 113

The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save the people from their sins.…Matthew 1: -18-25

Dreams play an important part in Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus. There are five of them - four to Joseph and one to the Magi. In Joseph's first dream, the angel gives him some astounding news. His wife, Mary, has conceived a child by the power of God!

Dreams played an important part in the life of another Joseph centuries earlier. When he told his brothers about his dreams, they became jealous. Eventually they sold him to a caravan headed for Egypt. Joseph ended up as a servant of the Pharaoh. Later he won great favor by interpreting the Pharaoh's dreams.

The story of these two Josephs is the story of God working through human beings. God still does that, and I am one of the human beings through whom God accomplishes his plans.

As routine and plain as my life may seem, God acts through me to accomplish great things. They may seem small, but in the eons of God's plan, they're like the mustard seed "which when full-grown is the largest of plants and puts forth large branches.

How did God work through me yesterday?

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.


Lord, purify me of everything, whether present or past, that hinders me from serving You.

See Also:

Next Day (December 19) | Previous Day (December 17)

Advent Week 3

Advent Week 2

Advent Week 1

Malankara World Advent Supplement

Malankara World Christmas Supplement

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