Advent, The Beginning…

Here we are again, the beginning of the liturgical year. Have you pulled out your purple? Advent’s liturgical color is purple and we began it this Sunday. Most of what we celebrate as, “The Holidays” are during this time in the Christian calendar, however this time of year is when we usher in the coming of the Christ child, and prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the second coming of Christ. In churches across the world people began lighting their wreaths, and they began by lighting the candle of peace.

The church I attended this morning used the following passages…

Isaiah 2:1-5 ESV
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.   It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,  and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord , to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord .

Matthew 24:36-44 ESV
“But concerning that day and hour   no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,   nor the Son,  but the Father only.  For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,  and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.  Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

We have this for which to look forward, Christ is coming back. Although we do not know the amount of time that will pass before Christ returns, we can be assured that Christ IS returning. That is the what we use Advent to celebrate and prepare for the return. When we look in the Matthew passage, we are told that the time of the coming of Christ will be like the rest of our days, there will not be any special warning, no tornado alarms, no early warning signals, not even NSA surveillance will be able to alert us to the coming of Christ. Therefore, we need to make ourselves ready, prepare ourselves for the day that Christ returns. We could call this “Christ-coming Preppers” instead of “Doomsday Preppers”. We need to prepare our hearts and minds for Christ, giving ourselves wholly over to holiness.

However, this time will also usher in a period of peace. God will bring peace on Earth. No longer will disputes between nations lead to war, but rather we will work toward producing instead of destroying. This is also part of preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ. Instead of a constant arguing or fighting with our fellow human over our differences, we need to work on finding common ground and a way to discuss our issues in peace. Working on our hearts to finding and cultivating peace in our daily interactions is something we use our lives for during this season of Advent.

So during this season, as we seek to prepare our hearts for Christ’s return, let us seek toward making peace flow from and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Maybe I should start with seeking peace with my daughter as her Advent was ushered in with tears and chants for, “mama”.

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