Did you ever realize how much of our time is spent thinking about what is next or where we will be shortly, such as if you are driving to work you think about what is going on at the office, or when you are at work you think about the drive home. Although we are where we are, we do spend a lot of time thinking about where we will be. We often do not live in the present, but live more in the future. Today is the First Sunday in Advent. Are you thinking about Christmas, or are you thinking that this is the First Sunday of Advent and that now we light one candle in the Advent Wreathe because this is the beginning and the first step to Christmas? Are we willing this Sunday to be a light, yes a single light that breaks up the darkness of life for others and helps light the way to the celebration of the Salvation of our world, the Nativity of Jesus Christ in four weeks?
Often times in today’s culture we talk about power: “What is power?”, “Who has power?”, “How is power used?”, “How to accept power or defend against power?”. We know that some power in life comes from physical force, like the power of a physically intimidating person or a hurricane. The brunt of this type of power is to be feared and avoided at all cost. We know that some power derives from inner strength. This power is positive and tends to draw people together. Jesus had this type of positive power. His words and actions were full of positive authority which the world needed.READ MORE
It is often better or easier to simply go along with the flow in life, in fact, often times, many things simply do not matter in the long run. We often take stands or push back over ultimately inconsequential things that in a few days or weeks we will not even remember. However, sometimes we need to stand and act on our values. This weekend’s scripture is a reflection on how Jesus thinks about his disciples and how they will go on--on their own, but in his presence.READ MORE
I suspect there are more images in our minds and in art of what heaven is than there are people on earth. When we think about heaven most of us project our desires of emotional well-being, beauty or human comfort or perhaps whatever we feel we need that is missing in our lives. Starving people or people who live on the level of bare subsistence, often envisioned heaven as a giant feast with an excess of wonderful food. For those who have felt they are alone and endure the pains of loneliness, they often envision heaven as a great multitude of people altogether as close companions. Some call heaven a “Garden of Paradise”; I suspect most of these folks probably had endured emotionally painful lives, experienced excess drought or lived in a desert like area. There are so many images of heaven, even some which stand in contrast to each other. There are many images of heaven, but the one reality which people who believe in heaven have is that it actually exists beyond the grave, after the death of a person.READ MORE