Here’s my communion from last week. I didn’t realize until I was finished delivering it Sunday that I didn’t say anything about communion at all.
Merry Advent everyone.
Advent, as you know, is the time before Christmas. It is the time of waiting and preparing for the arrival of Christ. (Just 19 more days.)
As the nights grow longer, and the darkness seems to grow darker, we wait for god’s light to come to us. We wait for the hope, peace, joy, and love that Christ brings to the world.
And the recent days have been dark. The news reminds us that we respond to fear with fear, hate with hate, violence with violence, murder and destruction with more and more of the same. And the commercials remind us that often our first response to the darkness of the world is to look for solace in all the shiny things we can buy, the latest and greatest replacements for things we don’t need to replace, and all those cool gadgets to fill the empty places in our lives in this dark and scary time.
It’s easy to forget that it’s Jesus we are waiting and preparing for.
I want to look for a minute, as the darkness seems to be closing in, at why Jesus came, and what it is we are preparing for.
In Luke’s gospel several people speak to why Jesus is coming, to what we are waiting for. Let me paint a little collage for you. Hopefully there is an image here that speaks to you.
Jesus’s mother says this about god in anticipation of the birth of her son:
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
and raised up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with nothing.
The angels says this to the shepherds:
“Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”
His cousin John said, when asked how we should prepare for his coming:
“If you have two shirts, share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also.”
About himself, at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus said this,
“The Lord has put his Spirit in me,
because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to tell the captives they are free
and to tell the blind that they can see again.
God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly
and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.”
There’s encouragement there, I think, that the darkness won’t last.
That’s why Jesus is coming–to bring hope, and peace, and joy, and love to our dark world.
So let’s prepare for that baby who becomes the man who is our light.
Let’s not prepare for Christ by dwelling on the darkness and our fear and our hate.
And let’s not prepare for Christ by focusing on our own selfish desires.
While we wait, Let us prepare the kingdom for our king.
Let us fill the hungry.
Let us share from our abondance what we have, with those who don’t.
Let us free the captive, help the blind see, and bring justice to those treated unfairly.
Let us be the light of Jesus in a dark and scary and selfish world.
And the hope, and the peace, and the joy, and the love.
That is why he came.