Zephaniah 3: 1-2. 9-13
Thus says the LORD:
Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted,
to the tyrannical city!
She hears no voice,
accepts no correction;
In the LORD she has not trusted,
to her God she has not drawn near.
For then I will change and purify
the lips of the peoples,
That they all may call upon the name of the LORD,
to serve him with one accord;
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
and as far as the recesses of the North,
they shall bring me offerings.
On that day
You need not be ashamed
of all your deeds,
your rebellious actions against me;
For then will I remove from your midst
the proud braggarts,
And you shall no longer exalt yourself
on my holy mountain.
But I will leave as a remnant in your midst
a people humble and lowly,
Who shall take refuge in the name of the LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
Nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;
They shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It hurts to be cut down to size!
Sometimes I outrun myself and forget who I came from and where I’m going. Before I know it, it’s all about me, and I have a hard time hearing otherwise. Trust? What’s that?
It’s hard to accept that something needs to change, because the values I’ve bought into tell me it’s going to be painful and shameful to humble myself. Yet that’s precisely what we are called to during Advent: remembering who we are and making the journey with Mary and Joseph back to our lowly “hometown.”
The good news is that rather than shame, God has a greater gift in store when we get there: God’s very self in the midst of a community “humble and lowly.”
Sometimes I think humility is a mental exercise. But during Advent, I remember that humility, for God, meant leaving a place of honor and going to be with the humble and lowly of our world.
Where might God be inviting me to “come home” this Advent season? Who are the people God is inviting me to be with?
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!
—Edna St. Vincent Millay