Monday, December 03, 2012

Some of the Readings for Sunday 9th Decmebert 2012 the Second Sunday of Advent:Malachi 3:1-4; Philippians 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-6

Some things always surprise us, even if we are well prepared.
Birth is one and death is another
Of the rich themes that this season of Advent gives us
Preparation is one of the key ideas.
No doubt many of us are caught up in some rigorous preparations
for Christmas, for family visits, for present giving.
In Australia we also need to prepare for holidays,
and for those of us who are going away that is soon enough

My MessengerIn each and every life there are people who bring meaning and understanding to our life.
For Christians, 
Jesus is that person,
but because we also recognise 
that the life of Christ is shared amongst God's people
I also realise that there are many others 
who bring meaning and understanding to my life.
Who is "my messenger"?
You can probably think of one or two easily.
But I also want to encourage you to think closer to home.
If we think carefully 
we can see that parents are called to be messengers to their children.
It is part of our role 
to help shape meaning and understanding.
We are not called to indoctrinate or to bully children
into narrow undersatndings
Rather we are called to encourage them 
to be open and expansive.
Responsive to God's call to be full and whole people.
So too, we might say, husbands and wives 
are not just the incidental partners of people
rather we are the messengers of God's love for  spouses.
This is a high view of relationships.
Who is "My messenger"? and 
To whom am I called to be a "Messenger"?
We often don't think of it like this.
But it gives a dignity and importance 
to our relationships which reminds us 
that God unfolds for us in our daily lives
so we expect that we will encounter God
through the most obvious messengers
and we also need to be aware that 
we are the messengers for some people.

This, perhaps, should fill us with foreboding.
At the very least it might cause us to stop and reflect
about how well we might do this.

Who is God's messenger for me?

This week.
And what are they saying?
Who am I the messenger for?
And what message do I give?

I give thanks for youI am always struck as we read the start of Paul's letters
(as we read the beginning of Philippians this week)
That, despite his at times stern approach, he always begins rather well.
In this letter for example we read
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you
If it says nothing else it says that there is much to be thankful for 
and we should search for that as we seek to convey God's message.
As we look at this daunting task of being a Messenger for God
for our children, grandchildren, husbands and wives and friends
take Paul's advice ands look for ways to be thankful.

We don't always feel like this, but it is an important insight.
It is gleaned (of course) from the way we want to be viewed by God ourselves.
Should we do any less?
This week take opportunity to give the message of thanks.
Look for a way to be a thankful messenger.

Prepare the wayFinally let us remember that this is not just all trying to get people to look at the world through rose coloured glasses
We are preparing people to meet Jesus.
We have small opportunities. 
Often rich and important.
The words we speak of love and affection
of forgiveness and hope
often take root where we do not see or suspect.
As we were reminded last week
whether or not people hear
is partly related to whether or not
we bother to say anything.
Don't lament the fact that people don't know Jesus
if we The Jesus people don't tell them

Advent workThis is Advent work!
It may seem harder than it really is
but there are three things that we are asked to do:
  1. Who is my messenger? And what is God saying to me through that person?
  2. Who am I a messenger for? And what am I saying to them? Can I at least "give thanks" for those who God has given to me?
  3. Can I, in this Jesus-rich season, also take the opportunity to point Jesus out to those who are looking?
He is there (of course) in the manger. But he walks along with us in our life. Can we help our loved ones to see him and know him better at this holy time.

No comments: