As a community of faith, we are being invited to soften our focus on life, to blur the hard edges of our lives, to see the whole picture with our hearts, to train our hearts to love as God loves, and to look at life through the reflections of the sacred.
November 27, 2022
Hanging of the Greens
“Reflecting the Sacred”
Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
Rev. Dr. Heather W. McColl
Romans 13: 11-14
But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
Matthew 24: 36-44
“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so, too, will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken, and one will be left. Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day[b] your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Keep Awake Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
“The busy-ness of the holiday season can overrun the sense of the sacred. The irony is that setting apart time for connection with the sacred gets pushed aside in order to create the trappings of what is supposed to be the season of celebrating the incarnation of the Holy! We will begin our Advent journey toward Christmas by emphasizing the gift of being awake to the “now”… the gift of sacred time with God, with each other, and with those in need of hope.”
These words set the scene for our Advent journey. As people of faith, we live in this here but not yet understanding of the Kingdom of God. We know that it is not fully realized here on Earth yet we catch glimpses of it every day.
This understanding does not fill us with fear or anxiety. Rather it fills us with hope, knowing that God is in the process, that God is still at work in this world, bringing about healing and wholeness. Rather this understanding becomes an invitation to us to embrace the knowledge that every moment is full of possibilities. All we have to do is keep awake, to stop and notice, to let awe and wonder take the lead in our lives so that our attentiveness is geared to recognizing the light of Christ in our midst.
You see, too often we think that something “sacred” is far away and not available to us. This Advent season, as a community of faith, we are “reframing” the way we recognize the sacred reflected all around and through us.
Because as we all may remember from science class, reflection allows us to see things differently, reflection invites the light to refract, sending the beams out so that they are no longer in just one place. Now they have been transformed into something new. Now the light is redirected in ways that make its brilliance more visible. As we embrace the invitation of sacred time, as we embrace the invitation to keep awake, to experience the sacred in our midst, we are being invited to see the world, to see our own lives, to see loved ones in a different light.
As we begin our Advent journey, staying present with others this week, reframing our view of the world, reframing our circumstances, as we begin our Advent journey, reflecting the sacred in our midst, as people of faith, we are becoming beacons of hope for all of God’s people, illuminating new ways we are called to become the people of grace and love that God created and calls us to be.
May it be so.
See also: Theology Tuesday for Sunday, November 27, 2022 – Keep Awake Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44.