December 1,

First Sunday in Advent

Romans 13:11-14

Matthew 24:36-44

 So, we come again to Advent, the time of the year when we take up the theme of Christ’s coming, his coming as an historical person born of Mary, and of the expectation that he will come again. Of course, we can’t go into a detailed description of the Second Coming because it hasn’t happened yet and in the New Testament it is spoken of only in metaphorical and imaginative language.  It is the assertion that one day we shall meet, person-to-person, with Jesus the true ruler or authority over all the world and that his reign which is currently hidden behind curtains of scepticism and ego will become evident to all. I think we should be wary though lest we confuse this Advent theme of coming with the idea that God lives in some detached, distant realm from which he makes only occasional visits to us. God is the One in whom we live, and move and have our being. God is the creative power without which nothing exists. In breathing life into every human being (Genesis 2:7), God breaths something of God’s own self. What looks to us like a coming is the in-breaking of the divine reality into our consciousness. God is always reaching out to us in love and grace. It is sin-blight that causes our blindness, hardness of heart that disables our recognition of the divine presence. God’s dynamic presence, the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Christ is constantly at work, even in our own lives. His Spirit dwells within us (John 15:4) and we who wear Christ’s uniform are called to live the part in our daily lives.

  • What does this period of Advent leading up to Christmas mean to you?
  • What do you think of Tennyson’s line about God: “Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet”?
  • What in Romans 13:11-14 suggests that our relationship with Christ is like wearing his uniform? What obligations does that lay upon us?
  • Why does Jesus stress the importance of watchfulness in Matthew 24:36-44?