Isaiah 11:1-10
Luke 10:21-24


Today’s Gospel follows just after the time that the seventy-two disciples had come back from their first mission. Jesus had sent them out to prepare the way for him so that the towns and villages would be waiting to welcome him. And what a successful mission it was. On their return the disciples were on fire with excitement about all that had taken place. This must have given Jesus great happiness to see their faith being lived out and the anticipation of those waiting for his forthcoming visit must have been wonderful news. The disciples had had their first taste of what it meant to be a missionary disciple of Jesus.

Jesus’ inner joy, today, is clearly defined as being from and of the Holy Spirit. His joy lead him to praise and thank God the Father for all the blessings and manifestations that had just taken place. This good news, this proclamation of God had been revealed to children.

But what does it mean to be a child? It is to try to keep things simple, to live in the moment, to be trusting, to be innocent and to be loving. Look at a toddler and watch their intrigue when examining a daisy in the lawn. They are closer to the ground then an adult and so will see things much more easily.

In this season of Advent may we learn to be more child-like, to take a closer look at what is around us, to be like those 72 disciples who went out to prepare the way for Jesus’ coming and to be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Let us see anew, with the eyes of a child, the fruits that come from the Holy Spirit. As we journey towards the birth of the child Jesus in Bethlehem let us prepare our hearts and minds to be open to the Holy Spirit in all the big and small opportunities that come our way, so that Jesus’ words and deeds are continuously revealed to us.

‘Joy to the world! The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room

And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing’

Victoria Raw is parishioner of Te Whetu O Te Moana, Star of the Sea Marlborough, NZ and is active in lay ministry.