What does the message of today’s readings mean for us on the first Sunday of Advent, 2019?
In the Southern Hemisphere, we are now at a beautiful time of the year, Summer, having just experienced Spring, so the leaves of trees should be green and the flowers blooming. Unfortunately, with the terrible drought being experienced by all of us, but especially our farmers, some will experience immense, life changing difficulties during this time. For these people, it is difficult to think about this time after winter as the return of the light. We will be having a collection for the farmers through Longreach Uniting Church over the next couple of weeks
At Advent, we can seek renewal if we have strayed from God’s plan for us. Over two thousand years have passed since the Gospel of Matthew was written for a group people experiencing challenges to their faith. With the pressures of our daily life, in these times, it’s easy to become fatigued, somewhat cynical and even challenged in our faith. There’s also an element of anxiety with the global economic crisis, war and unrest in parts of the world.
However, the Gospel gives the message that with the force of God’s love in the world it is better to concentrate on or watch for the good things in life, celebrating God’s love and asking God to come into our lives, as the people did in the Old Testament reading. It is time for dealing with whatever misgivings may be lurking in the back of our minds, witness God’s love in our lives and showing love and compassion to our neighbours.
The period of the coming anniversary of the birth of Jesus, Christmas, is a time to prepare ourselves for God’s love to be a powerful force for good in our lives. As humans, we all have imperfections, so Advent can be a time to rededicate ourselves to being God’s art, and let God be the artist (potter).
Advent is a journey from hope to peace, joy and then to love, the ultimate human experience. This is a time to reflect the JOY, light of the presence of God in our lives and share the LOVE HOPE and PEACE with those who are in despair. It is important to consider why we can be a sign of hope for those in despair by working for greater justice for the poor and needy. Joy is not in how much we have, but in how we share.
Yours in Christ,