Sunday, November 30, 2014

1st Sunday in Advent - Matthew 13:33-37 - "The Art of Waiting"

The first words of the bible are, “In the beginning . . .” This is the first proclamation of God’s love for His children.  The beginning of God’s love and our journey of salvation.  The beginning of the fulfillment of His covenant with mankind.  This is an Advent – a word which means beginning. 

This is what Advent is for us, disciples of Jesus Christ – a beginning.  It is the beginning of our period of waiting.  It is the beginning of our anticipation: the beginning of our celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and God’s gift of Himself dwelling among us, His children.  It is the beginning of a new year in the Church: our beginning of moving from darkness into light.  It is the beginning of our hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation: our being raised up into new life at the second coming of our Lord, Jesus.

With Advent we celebrate the beginning of waiting – the beginning of the Art of Waiting - waiting for Jesus to return as he promised, 
“I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” (John 14:2b-3)
We all know waiting is hard.  Ask any child or reach back into your own memory of years past – waiting for that Day to arrive was a misery.  Our patience were sorely tested and we thought we’d fairly burst with excitement before it arrived.  Our minds and hearts were set only for the Day’s arrival – we could think of nothing else.  We suffered great agonies, our whole being was focused on - that - one - Day!

But we Christians, we disciples of Jesus Christ, are masters at the art of waiting.  We have been waiting for over 2,000 years for Jesus to ‘take us to himself, so that where He is we may also be.’  And while we have waited we have been sorely tested.

We have suffered persecutions.  We have suffered distractions.  We have suffered hatreds for the name of Jesus.  We have suffered death and destruction.  We have suffered for our belief in the Truth of Jesus Christ.  Since the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and through this very day – we Christians suffer for our love of Christ – the Word of God.

Throughout the history of Christianity we have suffered – while waiting in hope and love; anticipating the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is for love of Him and our hope in God’s promise of eternal life; resting in the glory of His heavenly kingdom that we practice the art of waiting.  

In our belief in God’s love for His children and His promise of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ – we wait patiently.  We know that God is always faithful, always true, always loving and merciful: forgiving and welcoming.  We wait patiently in hope of the Truth discovered in scripture’s promise of that for which we wait:
“What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, what the mind of man cannot visualize; all that God has prepared for those who love him;” (1 Cor 2:9)
In this love and hope, we go about doing the Lord’s work faithfully, waiting patiently.  We hold true to His teaching – loving God above all and loving one another as we love ourselves – the immutable Truth that bind us together as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  

For our love of God, we go forth doing the will of the Master – teaching all the nations; bringing the Light of Christ, the Word of God, to all people, so that they too may come into His light and be saved.  For our love of God, we search the dark places of the world, seeking those who have wandered away from the fold, leading them back through His Word into the Light of Salvation.

Each day through prayer and good works we wait patiently for the fulfillment of this Advent, this beginning, as we continue Christ’s mission, doing the will of the Father; renewing our belief in His promise - that He will come again to bring all the faithful into His heavenly Kingdom, where He has prepared a room for each of us to dwell forever and ever ~ Amen.

Deacon Don

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