Time to begin a new year- Make some resolutions-Make s “spiritual shopping list” You don't have to get up at 4:00 am and wait in line There are no credit cards everything is paid for. Fortunately, God is always open, and we don’t even have to drive we don’t have to wait in line or fight over the merchandise So, today, we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus not only his birth but his second coming—so God tells us all to be comforted and to spread the kingdom of God
When we hear news on TV, we hear what has happened in the past and what may be happening now, but the newscasters can’t tell you about the future except maybe a ten-day forecast. And most of the time they are wrong. But since Jesus is the truth we can know what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen.
Our life here on earth and eternal life in heaven are so important that God wants us to know everything. God tells the story of the beginning of creation, how God created us, to the coming of Jesus into the world as a human being, and also what will happen in the future. That’s what Good News means - Complete news of salvation God tells us this so that we won’t be frightened and won’t be afraid.
So when we go shopping we buy something, for now, what can we give this Christmas- and if it is toys it probably won’t last—A lots of times you look in toy boxes, and there are missing parts to toys—Legos, and Lincoln Logs were a good idea because they made the parts –instead of breaking the toy- you made the toy—if you lose parts, just buy more parts You couldn’t break it, because it was just the pieces Lego’s had it right they sell the pieces
Sometimes we may want to get something that lasts a little longer So at least in our spiritual life, things are a bit easier; - the present that God has given us -what God wants and what God desires for us- is eternity life. What we do on earth lasts forever So for that purpose, God gives us gifts—they are not a material, but a spiritual gift Gift of life Gift of love So that is what re-gifted means – we share with others what God has given to us. Gift of understanding we are capable of understanding that God loves us God is the potter we are the clay often we cant to decide what we want to do and so there is a tension between ourselves and God until we are able to let go Gift of eternity And we receive these gifts freely from God, and God expects us to share them.
So when we hear from God what we should do, we can know that they are gifts to us from God and that God gives us the grace, the assistance if you will, to give them to others.In fact, out shopping list is included in all three readings today:
The readings today remind us that Advent is not just the preparation for Christmas, but a preparation for the second coming, and God has made sure that it won’t be a surprise. So that when it happens, we can’t say, God, you never told me That’s why Jesus says
1)”be watchful and be alert This means a way of life consistent with God’s principles
It is nice to know that God recognizes that there are anxieties of daily life
2)Abound in love sometimes we try to escape the burden, but how we escape is important not to live it up but to live in Christ So we can turn to Christ with our anxieties And when we face that tension between what to give temporal ( in the life now) and the eternal Year of Mercy what is Mercy forgiveness when we don’t deserve it. We can find the comfort of knowing what God has given us
God has offered us the peace we will hear at Christmas “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. That’s all God ever wanted for us. To be able to give God glory and in doing that to find peace on earth.
That’s the Good News