First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2016
Romans 13:11-14 | New Living Translation (NLT)
This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
Here we are at the beginning of a new church year. This year we are on cycle A of the readings. Today’s scripture isn’t what most people think of when they think of Advent. For most of us Advent is connected with Christmas – and there is a connection with Christmas, but Advent is NOT YET Christmas. Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus. The word advent simply means the arrival or coming of something. In the context of Christmas we think of it as preparing our hearts for the first arrival of Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem. In a larger context, it is about preparing our hearts for the arrival of Jesus – the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Paul reminds us that we need to live our lives with urgency – for the time is short. Time is running out. We are reminded – both sinners and saints – that now is the time – that we should wake up and get ready. There are not many of those who wouldn’t lift a finger to at least decorate a little for Christmas. While we don’t go “all out” in decorations, we do put up a tree – it is part of the preparation. Here Paul is telling us – get ready – get prepared because Jesus is coming again – his second advent is just around the corner. Prepare your hearts for his arrival. Decorate your lives for the King.