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November 29th, 2020: Advent 1

A Congregational Letter to Morgan’s Point and Forks Road East United Churches

I had a fabulous week connecting in with so many of you. We are all busy with Advent traditions, and it was so good to hear the many traditions that we all bring to our faith community. Ted and I did manage to get a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree up. It only has room for about seven or eight decorations, so I will put them on later this afternoon when I have completed this letter. As I told so many of you, I love to sit and watch the tree lights in the morning with my cup of coffee. It is a time of peace and wonder.

This Sunday is Advent 1. There is so much mystery and wonder during this season. My sermon this week is based on Mark 13:24-37, and is entitled “Watch! Stay Alert! Pray”. In our Gospel lesson today, Jesus calls us to stay awake, to stay alert, to keep watching. In the Gospel of Mark, watchfulness is a metaphor for ‘faithfulness’.

Today’s parable about the master going on a journey, and telling his gatekeeper to keep watch, is really a call to us to be faithful while we wait for Jesus’ return. It is a call to live faith-filled lives. Jesus knew he would be going away, and he wanted to encourage us to remain faithful, even though the days may grow long, and the nights even longer.

How can we remain expectant day by day? How can we stay prepared? How can we be faithful? We do not know exactly what the Second Coming will look like. We just have these images drawn upon by the past, but what we do know is this: God is entering our world and our lives in a new way, and we are called upon to be actively looking for these signs, and to be ready for the reign of Christ to come.

We are called to proclaim that God is present among us, and that God’s presence will be made know to us in a new way, just as it was long ago in a stable in Bethlehem. In our Gospel lesson, Jesus is calling his disciples to prepare themselves for his coming. He is calling them to faithful discipleship, so that when he returns they will not be found wanting.

Will Jesus, when he comes, find us being faithful, doing his work and doing his will? Jesus says, “Watch! Keep alert! Pray!” (vs 33). We need to be ready to see Jesus in all of our living. We need to be ready to welcome Jesus’ presence, his coming again and again, each and every day. Are you ready to live life fully to embrace Jesus, who comes into your life each and every day?

Remember, also, that as we pray for one another every morning at 10:30, God grants us wisdom, love and peace to hold each other in God’s infinite love and care.

Much love and care to you all. Keep well and safe.

God’s Blessings,

Pastor Laura

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