First Sunday of Advent, Year A

advent-wreath-3Let Us Walk in the Light of the Lord!

This is the time of year when we suddenly become aware of just how short our daylight has become. The days have been growing gradually darker ever since the Autumnal Equinox back in September. Darkness has been creeping in on us.

Have we observed that our world has grown spiritually darker, or has this change been too gradual to notice? Most of the secular world has probably missed what has been happening. Jesus explained that many would be caught off guard in the close of this age:

Jesus said to the disciples, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.   (Matthew 24:36-39)

Jesus said that people would be quite unaware of the times and would just be going about their daily business. This should not be the case for those in the Body of Christ. Our task is to be prepared and to help prepare others. The Apostle Paul warned the Church in Rome not to be overcome by darkness:

Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.   (Romans 13:11-14)

Fleshly desires animate our world, dictating what our media and entertainment put on display. Spiritual matters are, at best, an inconvenience. As a result, human life has been devalued. We have lost the sanctity of marriage. The family has been downgraded. We may be hip, but where is our hope?

God spoke to his people through the Prophet Isaiah:

O house of Jacob,

    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord!   (Isaiah 2:4-5)

Today, where do we choose to walk? In the light of Christ Jesus? Or do we hide in darkness along with the world? Advent is a season of new hope and expectation. It is a time of renewal and strength. God is calling us to live honorably. He is calling us to put on his armor and prepare to do battle with the forces of darkness.

Will we answer his call? Without the Christ child in our hearts we will fail. Now is the time to prepare for a new birth in him. Then we will triumph in his name. Otherwise we will stumble in darkness and the world will not even take notice of us.

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Filed under Advent, homily, Jesus, lectionary, liturgical preaching, liturgy, preaching, Revised Common Lectionary, sermon, Year A

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