Today we also have lights. We decorate our houses with lights, we place ornaments and lights on Christmas trees which brighten up our lives. These things are good, they light up our neighborhoods and provide good cheer. We delight in Christmas carols, parties, exchanging in gifts and catching up with family and friends. These things are good.
However, often in the midst of the Christmas season we get caught up in the pomp and the pageantry We need to get the lights up because the neighbours have already decorated their house. We need to go out and cut a tree down before all the good ones are gone. We need to buy the expensive gift out of feelings of guilt, not because of the joy inherit in giving.
Our lesson this week from Mark’s gospel is dark and perhaps disturbing. It speaks to when the Son of Man will return with great power and glory. When the cosmos itself will be shaken, when heaven and earth will pass away. Along with this imagery comes a message of watchfulness. To remain alert to that time when Christ will come again.
It is not the image we might associate with the first Sunday of Advent. A Sunday that celebrates the Hope of the Season. Yet, subversively it does just that. For we exist in that time between the birth of Christ and when Christ will return. A return that we wait for with expectant hope. Our passage today reminds us to kindle that hope and reminds us why it is important.
Text: Mark 13: 24-37
Questions to ponder for Sunday:
- What light guides your life?
- What do you enjoy most about the Christmas season?
- What are you hopeful for?
A Prayer for Sunday:
Eternal God, I give you thanks for all that I am and all that I have. In you I place my trust, in you I place my hope. For in you I find the great peace which restores and enriches my soul. This advent season may I draw closer to you as I await the birth of your son Jesus Christ in whose name I ask these things. Amen.