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What Do You Think? by Sanford Beckett

An Advent Devotion
The Canticles of Christmas
Week Two: The Magnificat

Saturday, December 16

Matthew 21:28-32

“What do you think?” (Matthew 21:28)

Jesus asks, “What do you think?” He then tells the story of a father who asked his two sons to do something. The first son said “No,” but changed his mind and did the task. The second son said “Yes,” but never did the task at all. Neither son, a hero.

Advent can find us caught in “No and yes” or “Yes and no” situations. How do you deal with them? For instance, another Christmas party you don’t have time for? Another donation? One more unrealistic expectation from family? Choosing the right answer can be tough.

Jesus further complicates his conversation with the religious leaders in this passage when he says, tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of them. Imagine their reaction! May not have been a greater insult!

I wonder sometimes, if all of us aren’t caught up in the same failing Jesus is accusing these religious leaders ofthat is, assuming we have the one true insight into God’s kingdom. Advent, at least for me, offers that trap. It’s like this. Because we know the Christmas story so well, do we ever hear anything new when it is read? We know the songs of Advent because we have sung them our entire lives, but do we hear the words?  Do we take the opportunity to gain new insights into God’s kingdom when we sing a carol?

How will it be for you this Advent? Will you live in the trap of “No is yes,” and “Yes is no?” Will you open your eyes and ears this Advent Season and experience God’s kingdom as if you are experiencing it for the first time?

“What do you think?”

by Sanford Beckett

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