4th Sunday of Advent

December 19, 2004
Reading 1: 
Isaiah 7: 10-15
Reading 2: 
Romans 1: 1-7
Reading 3: 
Matthew 1: 18-25
By John B. Cobb, Jr.

Three of the passages for this last Sunday in Advent express the desperate nature of the situation in which they are written. Isaiah is speaking to the king of Judah at a time when he sees little possibility of coping with his enemies. The psalmist depicts the land of Israel as in ruins. Paul describes the universal human condition that has resulted from people choosing the worship of idols instead of the true God.

Serving God and Mammon

Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Luke story of the rich, young ruler

It has been very risky for a long time now to make statements about what Jesus said. Accordingly, I won't claim that the explicit assertion that we cannot serve both God and Mammon came from him. But unless the synoptic writers seriously misunderstood him, it constitutes a good indication of his views.

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