Expectant Prayers of the Desperate Advent 2B 2017 Mark 1:1-8 Rev. Doug Floyd They’re leaving the city. Men and women. Tax collectors. Soldiers. Pharisees and even Sadducees. It seems like everyone is headed to the Jordan River, hoping to hear the voice that trumpets the coming of the kingdom. He doesn’t mince words. “Prepare the…
We continue to walk on unstable and uncertain ground, thinking it is stable, sure and immovable. We must wake up to the realization that our only firm footing is in the way of the Lord.
Yet from Augustine’s point of view (and ours, too) time is an accumulation of events that is leading to a cataclysmic summation, which will bring about the Second Coming of Christ. But something not quite as cataclysmic (at least I pray not so) are the events of our own lives. What are the events that we are accumulating in our lives? Are they God-honoring events? Are they events preparing us for Jesus’ Return?
Let us think about the parable again in relation to this question of “Where am I?” The master has entrusted these precious gifts to His beloved servants. These gifts are for the benefit of servants. In pouring out the gifts, the servants will grow up into their calling, but the one servant refuses. He fears a lack in the kingdom and sets about preserving his talent, his life. In so doing, he will lose his life.
Living and moving by hope, our lamps are burning deep in the night, looking toward the faithfulness of God.
God will keep bringing Christians like that into our lives that are a little bit different than us, that may aggravate us initially. They may be the ones that have something for us. They may have a truth that we need to hear, so we need to be patient with them. They may not be perfect, but neither are we. They’re often broken people just like we’re a broken people.
This Good News is the good news of repentance, of simple faith in Jesus Christ, of lives that find peace with God through the work of Jesus Christ in the cross.
Our Nostalgia for a World that never quite existed is a Nostalgia, a hoping for the Living and True World of the Living and True God, where God’s creativity becomes unrestrained by human sin and corruption, where we can live in fullness with Jesus, all the saints, the living, the imaginary, and the true.
For Chesterton, this life of joy begins in the simple wonder of being alive, but it ends in loving God and loving neighbor.
There is always a temptation to move beyond the simplicity of the Good News. In ancient Israel, the northern kingdom of Israel left the revelation of God for the illusions of surrounding nations. The Christians in Irenaeus’ day were tempted to leave the Gospel behind for a supposedly deeper spiritual truth. Even today, we are surrounded by ideas and lifestyles that call to us to leave behind the archaic Gospel truth in favor of supposedly deeper spiritual ideas.