Sermon – 1st Sunday of Advent (Hope) – April Karli

December 3rd, 2019 | Josh Williams

The first Sunday of Advent, April Karli shared about living hopeful expectation in the midst of uncertainty. We were invited to consider that Advent is an in-between time as we remember Jesus’s first coming as a baby and await his promised second coming.
How is Jesus inviting you to be awake to his presence this Advent season?

“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. 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.” Matthew 24:36-44

Quotes from the sermon:
“This analogy with the story of Noah makes perfectly clear that Jesus is not suggesting that those taken away are more fortunate than those “left behind.” To the contrary, those taken away are taken away from judgment, while those left behind are wiping their brows, thankful that they have survived ‘the Great and terrible Day of the Lord.'”
– Ben Witherington III

“What we perceive as dejection over the futility of life is sometimes greed, which the monastic tradition perceives as rooted in a fear of being vulnerable in a future old age, so that one hoards possessions in the present. But most often our depression is unexpressed anger, and it manifests itself as the sloth of disobedience, a refusal to keep up the daily practices that would keep us in good relationship to God and to each other. For when people allow anger to build up inside, they begin to perform daily tasks resentfully, focusing on the others as the source of their troubles. Instead of looking inward to find the true reason for their sadness – with me , it is usually a fear of losing an illusory control – they direct it outward, barreling through the world, impatient and even brutal with those they encounter, especially those who are closest to them.”
– Kathleen Norris, Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women’s Work

Anxiety shrinks the power of the gospel because it presents a false gospel — one of self-reliance rather than reliance on God. The gospel of self-reliance is always bad news because it always leads to more anxiety. But if I can learn to notice it, eventually name its source and triggers, and move past it, I encounter the good news of Jesus, the gospel of grace, which always leads to freedom.”
– Steve Cuss, Managing Leadership Anxiety: Yours and Theirs

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