Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Second Week of Advent

For a variety of reasons, I have been in a fairly significant spiritual "desert" place for the last few weeks. Life's circumstances, frustration, and guilt have taken their toll on my soul. As I felt my soul sinking lower and lower, this morning I was graced with the worship of the Church in Advent season. I have been gifted with some hope.

It was a morning where the hand of providence seemed to conspire circumstances that spoke significantly into my darkness. A time when many things come together from the music, the scripture, the sermon, and even the treasurer giving a stewardship report--all these things combined as the Spirit stirred something inside of me. It was something like this: though the checking account is precariously low, though the future is uncertain, and though my past is marked with pain--the dope is that there is still hope. You don't belong to this world and its vision of life, you belong to Jesus and his Kingdom- a place where money doesn't matter, where power doesn't influence, where status is out of style and all belong and are loved. We who are baptized into Christ have died to the old self and now live a new life. I need to live that new life.

The hours we spend on Sunday Morning in worship are a symbol and a sign that we believe the world is not as it should be. We bend ourselves to a breaking point to see the world beyond ours, to see the world through the eyes of Jesus. To look beyond the chaos and the sin and the tragedy and say, "there is meaning in this!" There is something out there beyond us! Trust, believe, and repent... and together we will wait for God.

So this morning was a time for me to hear the message of two prophets, Isaiah who says, "
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God... He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep," and John the Baptist who cries out for the people to confess their sin, repent, and be baptized. I needed to hear both. To know that God still cares, but also to know that I need to be reborn each and everyday--to put on Christ and live a resurrected life and reject the culture of death that is obsessed with power, status, consumerism, hollow sexuality, and cold hard cash.

Some refreshed hope makes waiting more enjoyable. Happy Advent!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Matt,

I was very touched by what you wrote. Do you mind if I ask our pastor if I can read it in church on Sunday?
I know people will receive a blessing from it.

Love, Mom G