Do you remember what it was like to learn English? The experience will be very different depending on whether it was your first language learnt as an infant, or much later in life. In any language, there are at least 4 main components: learning to hear and understand what is said, learning to speak the language, read the language and write the language.
By the time we were 2 or 3 we were doing the first 2 of these, and by 6 or 7 we were doing the next 2. More or less! Remarkable achievement! Without any knowledge of rules of grammar.
What about learning another language? At some point you need to learn some of the grammar rules or rules for spelling. Often our teachers might use rhymes or songs to teach us. I find that I still use the alphabet song when trying to remember where a particular letter comes in the alphabet, or “30 days has Sept, April, June and November, all the rest…” or the strange “i before e, except after c (so-called) rule” – which has more exceptions than words that comply.
Paul is giving us simple easy to remember rules for how to live as a Christian. They are just as relevant now when there are so many other voices competing against the voice of God in our lives. We will be blessed if we ponder each one.
- The first 3 look to God’s future. Celebration – rejoice always
- Ceaseless prayer to anticipate the life of heaven
- Gratitude always – the heart of genuine humanity
- Be open to fresh winds of the spirit
- Don’t quench the spirit or silence prophets
- Test everything
- Hold fast to what is good &
- Resist evil
- A bit similar in structure to the Lord’s prayer.
- John the Baptist knew what had gone on before and who lay in the future so he pointed the way to Jesus. So also do we need to do the same.
Watch video: https://youtu.be/9EcyUHKYjx4
Advent 3B. Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11; Luke 1:46-50, 53-54; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28.