Thursday, December 5, 2013
Even as Biblical repentance is something far deeper and far more profound than casually saying, "I'm sorry, " so is Advent's call to get ready something much different than the trivial stuff we associate with it. Saying "I'm sorry" when we have no intentions of doing differently is a waste of time by Kingdom standards. Doing a lot of outward stuff such as lighting Advent Candles, attending worship, making Chrismons, writing daily Advent meditations, or reading them will only cause us to miss the mark of the Advent call if some serious heart work does not accompany what we are doing. Advent's invitation to get ready is something which can only be described as radical.
Certainly, the epistle lesson for the first Sunday of Advent (Romans 13:11-14) takes us to the place of embracing radical change. As is the case with these early Advent lessons, a sense of urgency is underscored. We read phrases like, "...it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep...the night is far gone, the day is near." And what takes us to the place where we see that getting ready for the One who is coming is no game of trivial pursuits are those words, "...lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light," and "...put on the Lord Jesus Christ." What we hear in these Words is a call to do radical heart work.
Waking up, then, is about seeing how we invest too much of our time in things Jesus would never even give a glance. Living with a sense of urgency does not turn us into a one dimensional person, but a person who lives knowing that every moment, every relationship, every opportunity is a precious gift given from the Father in Heaven. The Biblical "laying aside and putting on" speaks of a daily decision to tend to the matters of this earth as Christ would tend to them if they were His.