Watching, Waiting, and Preparing

2018-12-02 – Year C – Advent 1 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Zechariah 14:1-9; Psalm 50:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:25-33

I have been known to be a procrastinator from time to time.
Sometimes my best work is done under the pressure of a deadline!
The return of Jesus can seem like a distant event, way out on the horizon, we know it is going to happen, but it seems far away.
This can lull us into a sense of spiritual laziness.
My father once had a t-shirt that said: “Jesus is coming…look busy!”
It would be better to say “Jesus is coming…be busy with the work of the kingdom and with growing in holiness.”

Growing in Holiness
Luke 21:34-36 – “watch yourselves…stay awake at all times”
Advent is a time to remember that this day is coming and to stop and take stock of your spiritual life.
What corrections is God calling you to make?
v. 34 “dissipation and drunkenness” – specifically refers to overindulgence of alcohol, but more broadly, these are the obvious sins which are very real challenges for some people, even for Christians.
Bishop J.C. Ryle “The exhortation before us should teach us the immense importance of humility. There is no sin so great but a great saint may fall into it. There is no saint so great but he may fall into a great sin.”
v. 34 “The cares of this life” – This is in many ways more insidious. We can become so consumed with busyness and unimportant things that we lose sight of the most important things.
Stephen Covey – Important vs. Urgent
The advent season leading up to Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year. Slow down. You may have to fight for it!

Encouraging One Another
1 Thessalonians 3:6-7 – Paul is comforted in his affliction by a visit from Timothy bringing encouragement on behalf of the Thessalonians.
We can and should do this for one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
We can also do this for other believers who are distant from us.
This is one of the interesting things about our trip to Parker, FL last week. We brought supplies, and people appreciated this, but we also brought the gift of encouragement.
I think we were also an encouragement to the people of Apostles by the Sea Anglican Church as we shared with them in their work.

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