Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent 2015

Today is the first day of Advent. For many this means absolutely nothing. In our American consumeristic culture, it marks the beginning of holiday shopping deals, a season long of special coffees, and making travel plans to visit family.

A youtuber, Maple Anglican, provides a nice overview of what advent is.

Advent actually marks the beginning of the Christian calendar. Advent is a Latin term that literally means "coming". Christians kick off the year preparing our hearts for the second coming of the Christ. You see Christ came the first time to reveal Himself and ransom people for God. His second coming will bring judgement and separation of the sheep and goats. To some it will be met with joy. To others it will be a time of great sorrow and regret. 

This season of Advent reminds me of the story Jesus told of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids[a] took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.[b] Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids[c] got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other bridesmaids[d] came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.[e]

Friends, we must be diligent to prepare ourselves for "that Day". We must make sure our lamps have oil. We do not know the time the Master will return. It will come upon us like a thief in the night.

I know it is easy to get distracted during the holidays. We all want to be able to give gifts and see our loved ones. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Yet, we are commanded to always seek first the kingdom of God. Instead of focusing on what our culture says the season is about, let us fix our eyes on Jesus first and foremost. 

Men, take your family to church. As the dad goes, so goes the family.  Quit putting your hobbies in the way of your family and God. It's not the mom's responsibility to lead your family. It's yours! Quit being a coward. Man up and show your family what it looks like to seek the Lord. That's another blog post for another day.

This Advent season, be diligent in seeking the Lord. Prepare your heart for His coming. Do not say to yourself, "tomorrow I will seek the Lord." None of us know the day or the hour when He will come. Be ready. 

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