THE THRILL OF HOPE, THE WEARY WORLD REJOICES
Stay Woke - Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Read: Matthew 24:36-44
The season of Advent has arrived! Today is the first day of Advent. The word advent is used by the Christian Church to refer to the coming of our Lord. Traditionally it is the time most of us begin our preparations for Christmas. We live in a culture that tells us that it is in love with Christmas, a culture that tells us that Christmas is much more fun and advantageous for us than Advent. And as Christians we sometimes feel we have don our part when we revere the nativity story or listen to some magnificent portion of Handel.
Although the Jews also expected the coming of the Messiah, they failed to recognize him when he came. Our passage for this morning is not about Christ’s first coming, but about his second coming. The deepest truth of Advent is that God is coming to us - not to the shepherds and wise men of history but to the hearts that are now beating within us.
Jesus warns us that the Second Coming will be like the coming of a “thief.” As we know, the strategy of a thief is to break in when the people of the home are away or they are fast asleep or they are preoccupied with other activities. So also, says Jesus, the second coming will be.
Entering the season of Advent with traditional expectations could spoil our concept of Christ’s Coming again. Advent should be understood as a reminder to us of Christ’s coming, not only his coming in glory, but as a reminder that he comes into our lives again and again, even this very moment of time.
Advent reminds us that God is still acting in our lives and that God’s presence is as real today as it was when Jesus was born. Advent can be spent profitably considering how we experience and respond to God’s presence in our lives. How well or often do we pray? Do we love our neighbors? Do we work for peace in the world? We can use this time to form our responses to God’s presence, love and call upon our lives.
We lift our praise to you, O Lord, who loves us before and after all our plans. Prepare our hearts and minds for the surprising gift of your deepest love. Amen.
Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart
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First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville
6201 Belcrest Road
Hyattsville, MD 20782
10:00AM - Worship Celebration
1st Sunday - Worship Celebration with Holy Communion
Sunday School 'All Ages are Welcome' (times vary by class)