Saturday, November 23, 2013
December 1, 2013 - First Sunday of Advent
Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for December 1st – Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44; Theme: First Sunday of Advent Song: O Come, O Come Emmanuel – UMH 211 Romans: We are always tempted to go back into the past. We are always tempted to try and change things, to go back to the point in our lives where things made sense. It is hard for us to accept that the past is gone and there is nothing that we can do about it. What we can change is the future, we can do something to change the future. This is a transitional time, it is time for Christmas, but it is not time for nostalgia. Paul tells us that it is time for us to wake up and to take charge of our life, but most importantly, we have to take charge of our service to God. The past is a part of the darkness, and the future is the light that we have a chance to walk into. But we have to prepare ourselves to live in the light and to avoid sin. We have to put on the clothing of salvation. If we are able to put on Christ, just as we put on our clothes, we will be fully prepared to fight temptation and obey God. Matthew: We always start at the end. I know that in order to truly have a good day, that I have to get a good night’s sleep. I have to start at the end, in order to control the beginning. The same is for our spiritual life. We don’t start the year off with the baby Jesus. We start with Jesus telling us that it is time to wake up and to be prepared for a change. We always start out advent with the second coming, not the first coming. A time when we will be held accountable for our actions. So we need to be prepared to clean up our act. We need to think about the way that we treat other people. We need to think about how we read the bible. We need to think about how we obey the call of God in our lives. It is a connection to Romans – to wake up and to look around at the life that you are living. If we get too comfortable with ourselves, with sin, with the world – then Christ will return at an unexpected time. Advent is a time to prepare ourselves, to wait for what is coming, and to please God. Questions: What spiritual darkness exists in the world today? What do we need to be more aware of in ourselves this year? What do we need to be aware of in others? What do we need to put aside this year? What does advent mean to you? What will you do to prepare for Christ coming in a brand new way? What light are we being called to bring into the world? What needs to happen in order to light that candle inside of you?