November 26, 2018
Scripture Luke 21:25-36
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times….”
Luke 21:34-36a NRSV
The lectionary for Advent provides us with scripture verses that proclaim the unexpected arrival of the Messiah and proclaims the power of God. The full scripture lesson contains fantastic descriptions of the Days of Reckoning. This brings to mind End Times and the Apocalypse, both of which have become popular at various times in our culture. Verses like these are in various parts of the Bible from the Book of Daniel to the prophet Isaiah to The Revelation of John. And, they are in the Gospels, as well, such as our scripture lesson from Luke. Both Jesus and the Hebrew scriptures describe these momentous events, which likely will come at some time. However, that time is only known to God!
Importantly for us, the scriptures, and especially Jesus, describe God’s grace and forgiveness, as well. So, we might ask: Are we to focus on judgement and possible punishment, or can we simply skip ahead to forgiveness? As we begin this season of Advent, Jesus offers another vantage, or view. He intends for us to look to God for our hope and to shift our thinking away from the everyday routine: to focus on our faith ,and spiritual practices instead of frenzied preparations and shopping. This places Advent in stark contrast to some of the traditional “busy-ness” of Christmas. Instead, in this season of Advent we are preparing for Christ.
Sunday, December 2nd marks the beginning of Advent: Christ is coming. Let us all start the vigil, and prepare for lasting change in us- and in the world!