First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy,we embark once again on an age-old journey — the path through Advent to Christmas. It is a spiritual journey about which we must be intentional because there are so many cultural distractions to waylay us from the path.
Beloved Isaiah, beautiful poet and prophet, stands along the sideline rallying us:
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!
Isaiah is telling us that it is time to get moving – moving deeper into our relationship with God.
Like the “House of Jacob”, winding through a long journey, we may forget where we are really going in our lives. We are not going to material, social, or political success. We are not traveling life’s roads in order to end up at a cushy retirement.
Our lives are about moving deeper and deeper into the heart of God — that’s all. If we are not doing that by engaging the grace of our everyday lives, then we are missing the whole point!
Paul trusts that we understand this. He says, “You know the time … wake up!”
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light…
I have a sleepy friend who loves to linger in her blankets in the morning. When we need to be up and “at ‘em”, I can sound a lot like Paul. “Look at the time!”, “We don’t want to be late!”, “Throw off those blankets of night!”
Friends, the Church gives us the gift of Advent so that we will not be late for the ultimate “God-Party” which is our life’s glorious destination. The potential to reach this “destination” is offered us, not only in some future parousia, but in each moment of our existence by our choice for grace.
In our Gospel, Jesus reiterates the profound importance of our wakeful awareness of God’s Presence in our lives.
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
So, let the journey begin! Begin today to receive every moment as an invitation to God’s house — God’s heart. Whether the moment comes in darkness or light, joy or sorrow, God is in it – calling.
Poetry: Advent Calendar – Rowan Williams
He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
Music: wake – TuneCore