On the Feast of St. Stephen
Isaiah 52:8 TEV&NRSV Those who guard the city are shouting, shouting together for joy. They can see with their own eyes the return of the Lord to Zion. & Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.
If you’ve even shopped for a Bible perhaps at Christmastime, you know it isn’t as easy as just asking a clerk where their Bibles are. Not only do some Protestants and Catholic Bibles differ, there are so many translations, interpretations, and versions, I no longer keep track. Protestant scholars used to tell me the only authentic, authorized Bible was the KJV; the only one used by us. Catholic scholars have disagreed as to whether the Hebrew and Greek or a Vulgate Latin was better. Most scholars say it is better now to use more than one Bible. Some have one text right beside the other. And a further complication is many have aids, helps, maps, pictures or commentaries, concordance, all of which confuse the shopper and Bible student. You may use few of these or want more. You see this is a complex and confounding process, selecting a Bible. Most Evangelicals have embraced an NIV which I used to only use.
I’ve settled on the TEV and NRSV, and above is the same verse from both. Here the prophets are foretelling the birth of the Messiah. They are giving us the proper attitude for us to look for God in our lives and the lives of others. How we expect the Word made Flesh, the Christ Child, our Bread from Heaven, who was born into the World to give us, for the past two thousand years, the new birth. How we are to anticipate seeing the Creator again when we die or see the Lord and Master of the Universe at the end of the age.
I had to ask myself if lately I truly had my head up, looking for Jesus’ return. Maybe with all the talk about the world ending the just past solstice last week and all the mention of the second coming in all the homilies this past Advent, I’m giving it more thought.
St. Stephen, before he was martyred could see God in Glory. This Christmas Season I am going to try to not lose sight of a heads up attitude that my Saviour and my God is coming for me. The Light of the World, can be in plain sight, seen with your own eyes. Like Mary, Joseph, the shepherd’s, the wise men, Simeon, Anna, and St. Stephen, who saw Jesus, like the prophets proclaimed, we know the King is coming, then and now. Here is our hope for our present, for the New Year, for all our futures and our joy. So heads up and stay alert like watchmen.