It was not that long ago when a moment of quiet was a blessing -waiting for an appointment, or a few minutes alone in the car, or a walk out in the woods.
Now these quiet moments of reflection often become filled with noise. It is hard to resist the addictive pull of technology.
Our sacred, quiet moments in our day have become filled up with – Facebook, video games, music – or whatever information is new for day. Moments of quiet reflection, I am afraid, are fast becoming a thing of the past.
Lately, I have been surprised by how fast my daily quiet moments are disappearing.
Not too long ago my wife, Kalen was attending a spiritual retreat near Chicago. During the retreat the participants were asked to take two hours of quiet time. I asked Kalen what she did during her two hours of quiet to which she responded I used my quiet time to make phone calls.
The world in which we live in is the world in which we live in. There is no changing that. I enjoy the progress of modern technology just as much as anyone else. But I am thankful for one thing here. I am thankful for this season of Advent.
The season of Advent could not come at a better time. Just as the rush of the Christmas season begins we are immersed in this new, quiet season in the church year.
This new season gently encourages us to step away from the frantic business. In the season of Advent we try to take some time to be with God, to be still, to be quiet.
We stop what we are doing to remember that God’s boundless love still exists in the world.
We remember that a moment of quiet silence is like a healing balm for the soul. We remember that God is moving closer to us during this season of Advent.
We wait now. We wait in quiet for the birth of God’s Son, Jesus. We anticipate the new beginnings that are possible when we have faith in Jesus.
We look forward to and even long for the joy that comes from knowing him.
This past week a Bible verse came to me that really spoke to me. The verse is from Psalm 107: 9 and reads: “For he satisfies the longing soul, and he fills the hungry soul with what is good.”
The word Advent refers to the coming of Christ. Jesus will satisfy the longing soul and Jesus will fill the hungry soul with what is good. As followers of Jesus we understand this season of Advent as Jesus coming to us in three ways.
First, Jesus comes to us a baby born in a manger. Jesus lived on earth performed miracles, healed people, fed people, talked to people about God’s love, he died on the cross for us, and he rose again never to die again.
Secondly, we see Jesus coming to us and abiding in our hearts. Remember that Jesus is always concerned about matters of the heart.
How is his love transforming and changing us? Every day we die to sin and rise with Jesus. Each day we respond to Jesus’ love in our hearts.
And lastly, we believe that Jesus will come again in his glory at the end of the age. We believe Jesus will come to us as we take our last breath. The one we put our faith and our trust in is also the one into whom we die.
Even in death Jesus comes to us and meets us at that last hour. Even there he is with us.
And so this beautiful new season of Advent offers, as a gift to us, the opportunity to share together in our longing for Christ. This is the time to share together in great anticipation of Jesus’ coming glory. Let us not get too distracted by the business of this season. Let us not miss signs of our Lord even now.
Jesus gives to us a warning in today’s Scripture reading from the Gospel of Luke. Jesus’ warns us to not let the things of this world distract us from what is truly most important.
What is of utmost importance is in having a relationship with Jesus! I fear that sometimes we miss that with all the noise around us.
In today’s reading Jesus teaches us that we ought to continue to place our faith and our trust in him even in the face of suffering and disaster. By faith continue to step into our future while believing in God.
We continue to place our lives into the hands of God even in the midst of unstable and uncertain times knowing that the coming Messiah has already conquered death, sin, and all kinds of destruction.
At this time may the Spirit help us to catch ourselves when we find ourselves drifting away from God and from God’ ways.
When we drift away from God the Spirit then turns us so that we might be about God’s will once again. For we are at our best when we are joyful, faithful, forgiving, generous, and courageous.
We are at our best when we are sharing good news with others. We are at our best when we are embodying God’s love within our hearts.
We are at our best when we have hope, for hope is a precious thing, it is what is needed for a life of faith.
Hope, always having hope, for the coming reign of God in Jesus.
Today we begin a fresh new cycle in the Church year. Today we welcome new people to our church community. Today we celebrate the new beginnings in our church.
Today we wait for the coming of Jesus. He comes to us as a baby. He comes to us in our hearts. He comes again in glory.
May we take time this Advent for quiet so that we might be able to think about what this means.
May we find time to ponder the meaning of Advent.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!