Monday, December 1, 2014

Looking for Christ? Preach in the Dark!

• 1st Sunday of Advent (year B)
on Mark 13:24-37 and Isaiah 64:1-9  @FirstUMCBville  @kerrfunk

Think of a child. Does it bring a smile?
Think of the same child in distress. What now?
In Isaiah 64 prophet asks God as Father to look on his children, who are in distress.
Also in Psalm 80, look upon the people you've planted, for glory. Now in distress.
Ferguson. Death of Michael Brown. Life of Darren Wilson. Violence and protests and cries of racism. Property destroyed. Pain, oppression, voicelessness. Country deeply divided, and little hope. Dark and hurting, and that's not even mentioning personal griefs. (deaths and addictions, joblessness, depression)
World is desperate for God.
If only you would tear open the heavens and come down.
We are hoping for Christ.
Waiting for his arrival (his birth) as well as his return.

Jesus seems to be concerned about something else. He told the disciples the Temple was going to fall... don't put your faith in it. And really, don't worry about details of the end of times. God has not revealed that, and if you're spending your efforts trying to figure it out, you're squandering efforts that I'd rather you be using elsewhere. The best thing for you to do in all circumstances is the task I have set for you: preach the good news. Are you looking for Christ? Preach in the dark.
Remember your calling, your mission. Repent and believe the good news. Be agents of healing and reconciliation. Teach people about Christ, teach people about forgiveness. Listen to the brokenhearted the angry the grieved the frightened, give them bread give them hope, tell them though there be darkness there is a light that the darkness cannot overcome.

Remember your calling, your mission – to share the love of God with people in a hurting world. Know that love and carry it with you so that when your life interesects with another's you give them love. When you hear or see (or make!) the cry of woe, when the hurting world is looking for Christ, come alive! Remind them that God chose to make the world and then enter into it out of love and to offer light and salvation not because things were going so well but because of love and because the world was and is desperate for love.

Share the love of God with people in a hurting world. Be love... be patient and kind and hoping and persevering and believing, keeping no record of wrongs and delighting in the truth.

So that when God looks upon his children he will smile for their love and light.

Hymn 206 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

Mark 13:24-37 Nov. 30 / 1st Sunday of Advent
24 “In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. 25 The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Human One, the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. 27 Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.
28 “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he’s near, at the door. 30 I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
32 “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 33  Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. 34  It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. 35 Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36  Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”

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