12/1/19 – “Awake and Woke”

Posted on : Nov 27th, 2019 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Advent is the season in the life of the Christian tradition when we think about waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ’s light and love into our lives and world.  As I was thinking about what that waiting is like, I thought of women and men who wait, and wait, and wait for their child to be born.  For a lot of women, even when in labor, it is a long wait.  And I thought of how difficult it is for children to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open their presents.  I also thought about how long some people wait for justice and a new way of life.

This morning as I was watching the news, MSNBC had a story about the humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico border where thousands of immigrants are seeking asylum.  The current Administration has refused to allow them into our country, so they are living in tent encampments on the Mexican side of the border.  This of course is a gross perversion of international Immigration Law for those seeking legal Asylum. 

One of the reporters interviewed a dad who with his 5-year-old son is awaiting an immigration hearing.  His son has epilepsy and he is desperately trying to get medical attention for his child.  But there is no medical help available in the camps.  He said he is just “waiting and hoping.”

As we prepare to celebrate Advent this year, I realized that Advent isn’t about passively sitting round “waiting.”  It’s more active and interactive than passive.  While we still wait, we’re also actively preparing for and involved in our faith journey.  We keep working to enlighten ourselves and our world with the light and love of Christ.  In fact, as I thought about the meaning of Advent, especially as we celebrate our last Advent together, the image that came to me was that Advent is about participating in God’s Awesome ADVENTure.   The very root of the word “adventure” is “advent.”

So this Advent, we’re going to look at some of the ways in which we participate in that “Awesome Adventure.”  This Sunday we’ll focus on a very old parable about bridesmaids waiting for the groom to come to the wedding party.  The groom was late.  Very late.  Some of those who awaiting his coming were active (proactive) others were passive (not prepared).  The moral of the story is, we are all called to be actively involved in God’s Awesome Adventure.  We’re called to be “Awake” and “Woke.” 

It is easy to “sleep” through life, to be unresponsive and unaware of the needs of others.  It is easy to fall into thinking, “This problem is too big for me.  I can’t do anything about it.”  It’s easy to fall into self-pity and give up on imagining a more meaningful life for ourselves.  But that is not what God calls us to do or be.  God calls us to participate fully in this Awesome Adventure that we call Life! 

More on Sunday as we begin this new Adventure in faith.

Advent Blessings to each of you,

Dan

 

Matthew 25: 1-13

“Then the kindom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’

Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some oil for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.

Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Please open to us.’ But the master of the house replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’

Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

 

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

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