The First Sunday of Advent | Sunday 27 November 2022

Today is Sunday the 27th of November, the first Sunday of Advent.

Salt of the Sound sings, ‘Come Thou Long Expected Jesus’.

Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

Matt 24:37-44

For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

“Two will be in the field; one will be taken and one left”. This is a rather scary thought! It confronts us with the stark choice we are asked to make as we approach the feast of Christmas. This Jesus who will proclaim God’s kingdom of love and justice: am I with him or not?

Many of us realise it’s a bit of both! We want to be like Jesus, and then again, sometimes we don’t.

Donald Winnicott coined the terms True Self and False Self. Quite a few writers on spirituality have use the idea too. True self is who I really am in God, without pretence or masks, forgiven and loved and called into friendship with Jesus. False self is the me that projects my own importance and self-sufficiency into the world, pretending I do not need the help of God.

In the field of my life, both of these selves are there . . .

I hope one will be taken and the other left! What a relief that would be. I could rest then in the truth that I am a sinner yes, but forgiven and utterly loved by God.

Know that Jesus loves you. Know that he longs for everyone to be saved, for that is why he came. Listen again. Let the reading touch you however it is going to…

We aren’t meant to live our lives in a perpetual state of tension. Jesus wants us to ‘keep awake’ and also to trust in him. Neither complacency nor anxiety, but awake and with him.

You might like to ask Jesus for that composed poise this Advent . . . to be awake and trusting in him . . .

O Wisdom
Lord and Ruler
Root of Jesse
Key of David
Rising Son
King of the Nations
Come, Lord Jesus.

Sunday, 27 November
1st week of Advent
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