From Rev. Kent – Watch for the Light

Advent affirms two essential elements of Christian faith: how things look does not always reveal their ultimate nature, and God is moving, restlessly and sometimes erratically, toward a new vision.

The scriptures we will encounter this season admonish readers “to watch!”, “keep awake!”, and “be ready” for “no one knows the day or the hour” these changes will take place. God, working through improbable means and impossible circumstance, may at any moment appear to light the path.

Advent also reminds us, however, that restless, erratic salvation is no more comfortable than it is predictable. Jewish tradition held that until the people were righteous enough the appearance of Messiah was impossible. John the Baptizer is hardly friendly in his excoriation of bad practice and the call to repent, and we too, no different from his era, have much to rectify if we are ever to be counted righteous.

Uncomfortable as it may be, as upsetting to the understood order or even functioning of families, industry and government, such a reckoning for righteousness is a spark of light in the dark. It is the beginning of being able to see a new and better vision.

As many of our well-known personalities in the news lose their positions for sexual misconduct, don’t be seduced by the depravity now made public. Watch for the light, instead. Look for the spark of righteousness and follow that.

For only by exposing, repudiating, and committing to a true, just (and therefore moral), intolerance of debasing and often gender-based violence can we ever move forward to the kin-dom God envisions.

Only by dealing with toxic effects of alcohol or heroin on the whole family and being willing to see them, confront them, change them, can any light come to those torn to shreds by addiction.

Only by holding up a mirror to cruel, hurtful, and greedy policies and holding their authors accountable–particularly when such authors claim belief in Jesus as a qualification for holding office– can we ever bridge the gaps between sound governance and the moral quagmire in which government too often wallows.

No, watching for the light is not like sitting back and letting Jesus do all the work while we hang tinsel and listen to carols. Watching for the light is the like picking through the embers of a fire to see what might be kindled into flame. It is being always awake to the bright in-breaking of God’s voice, Christ’s call, the Holy Spirit’s new vision. Immediate consequences may feel calamitous, but not everything is as it seems, and God is relentlessly watching for those who catch the gleam of grace mingling in the turmoil. Stay alert! Watch for the light!

With blessing,

Categories Consider | Tags: | Posted on November 29, 2017

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