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Be On Guard!

Be On Guard!     

Jer 33:14-16, 1Thess 3:9-13, Lk 21:25-38

jesus and angelsAs workers for Christ our challenge is to be ready to face him at any and every turn. This is a hard thing, for our battle is not so much with sin or difficulties or circumstances, but by being so absorbed in the kingdom work that we lose sight of the One in whose name we labour.

It’s easy to be fooled into thinking our efforts are so important, so crucial, that everything must be done just so, that our pride becomes subtly entwined in the task. Such work then becomes self-serving – not serving our Lord.

Jesus rarely appears when we expect him. He is usually the surprise visitor in the most ordinary and inconvenient situations.

If we are to be prepared for Christ we must be aware of our love of ritual and predictability, and strive to be spiritually real in the here and now.

It’s not our service or achievement that matters, rather that we connect with Jesus in every thought, word and deed. And with those he loves.

Advent marks the beginning of the season of preparing and waiting. And the incredible event for which we wait is the coming of our God who chose to enter into all that decays and dies, and to know it with us.

No longer in the heavens or hidden behind a curtain in an extravagant building on a hill, God took on flesh so as to bring a new heaven and a new earth to the moments when the sufferings and despair of our earthly life is more than we can bear.

Advent gives us the time and space once again to believe in and live out the reality of life in the shadow of eternity. Christ is Emmanuel: God with us – now.

And what I say to you I say to all: keep awake.’ [Mark 13:37 NRSV]

 

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert

Sun 2nd Dec 2012  7.30am Lismore, 9.30am Dunoon   [Advent 1]

Advent 1    

Jeremiah 33:14-16     The Righteous Branch and the Covenant with David

14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

 

1Thessalonians 3:9-13

9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

 

Luke 21:25-38        The Coming of the Son of Man

25 ‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

29 Then Jesus told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34 ‘Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.’

37 Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. 38And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.

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