Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent VI

One of the big Words in the New Testament readings for Advent is the Word:  "Keep Awake."  This Word comes from Mark.  Basically, Matthew is telling us the same thing as he writes:  "Be ready."  And Luke joins with them as he says:  "Be alert!"  While there is a little difference in translation, the same intent is being sounded.  Living with an expectation that Jesus will return does not lend itself to sleeping, or careless living.  (NRSV)
It might be possible to read these Words and wonder exactly what it means to live in such a condition, and surely some have used the language to justify all sorts of attitudes and life styles. But when we read what the Apostle Paul would later write to the church at Romans, we understand more clearly what it means to "Keep Awake!"  In Romans 13:11-14 we find how we should be living if we are serious about living in a way that keeps us ready for the coming of Jesus.  Paul writes, "Let us then lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.  Let us live honorably as in the day,..."  Intentionally choosing to do good and living in such a way that no action or thought or attitude needs to be hidden is how Paul calls believers to live.  As we live in such a manner, we are living as one who is living awake and alert and ready.

And, so Advent takes us once again on that journey that leads to the inner chambers of our heart.  It is always much easier to get things ready on the outside then it is to ready our hearts for the Christ who has come, is coming, and dwells in us in the moment.  The difference in a life driven by doing is a life lived far differently than one driven by being. It is the difference in looking inside and outside.  It is the difference in understanding the difference in trying to justify the wrongs which are a part of our life and being accountable for them.

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