St. Matthew's Episcopal

First Sunday in Advent 2016

Posted on: November 28th, 2016 by Robin Jarrell


Welcome to Advent! In this special liturgical time of the year, I wanted to sum up the sermon for the first Sunday in Advent because in these turbulent times, it is important to keep the Good News ever before us. Yesterday’s Gospel tells us plainly that we must be vigilant and “keep awake,” or, as some folks today say: “stay woke.” Our Anglican tradition in the form of our Baptismal Covenant gives us our own Christian mandate in very specific terms: we are to “persist in resisting evil” and when we miss the mark, we are to “repent and return to the Lord.” We must be ever watchful and we do all we can to resist racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and anti Semitism. We are to stand with the oppressed and shoulder their burdens as if they were our own. Keeping awake means we cannot turn a blind eye to evil. Turning a blind eye means that we are tacitly giving our assent for the evil to continue. But keeping awake means also that we cannot turn a blind eye to the grace and mercy of God’s love and justice coming (Ad/venting) into the world. “Staying Awake” means we must help each other train our eyes on seeing the Good News in the world. So, this Advent, my dear sisters and brothers, be especially kind to one another. And then take that kindness into your world, your home, your community, and be quick “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” while you “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.” With God’s help, welcome to Advent.

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