November 27, 2022
By: Rev. William Poland, Interim Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries
Read: Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
Come, house of Jacob, let’s walk by the Lord’s light.
—Isaiah 2:5 CEB
The invitation to walk in the light is at the heart of our passages today from Isaiah and Romans, along with the warning to pay attention to the time in Romans and Matthew’s Gospel.
Both themes are important for us to remember as we enter Advent and a new Christian year. “As you do all this, you know what time it is.” Paul writes. The “all this” is recorded in the paragraph immediately preceding concluding, “Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law.” Paul goes on to instruct us to wake up and prepare for the coming day by putting away actions that belong to the darkness and put on the weapons of light. In short, put way selfish and destructive behaviors involving sleeping around, getting drunk, and fighting with each other. Instead, Paul calls us to put on Jesus Christ, dressing ourselves in Christ’s love.
These current days are filled with anxiety around the future and the divisions that exist in our Church, nation, and world. The scriptures for today call us away from darkness and into Christ’s glorious light. They do not attempt to diminish the anxieties we may feel, but to remind us of the presence of the God who is with us. Each of these passages were given at a time when the people of God were facing huge upheavals. Isaiah forecasts a future time when nations will flock to God’s temple, right before he begins to prophesy of the destruction of the nation. Paul is addressing the church in Rome experiencing division and persecution. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his crucifixion and the tribulation that is to come after.
They all point to a word we need to hear clearly: God is coming! We are a people of hope. Not only is God coming, God’s Holy Spirit is already here! As we light the first candle of Advent, let us bask in the light of God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ. Let us actively share it in the world by putting away the darkness of fear and division, putting on the ministry of love and reconciliation. On this first Sunday of Advent, we are reminded it is time! Pay attention! Now is the time to walk in the Light and live as the Body of Christ! In Christ we must show the world another way, a way out of the darkness and into the light. The day of the Lord is coming.
PRAYER: O God, who loves us, send your Spirit to calm our fears and fill us with the light of your Love. Then, give us the power to share it with others, in Jesus’ name Amen.