From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 1st Sunday in Advent

Hi everyone,


You know, I can’t believe we’re in Advent already.  Before we know it, it’ll be Christmas.  And then the madness will be behind us.


Whoops, did I type that out loud?


Like most of us weren’t already thinking it.  As much as we might love the Christmas season, there is no denying that it is hectic, tiring, and often pretty expensive.  It’s not really even the end of November yet and the malls are starting to get busy.  And so come all the rants and complaints on social media about how materialistic Christmas has become and so on and so forth.


But I think in the midst of this, we forget one thing: Christmas is coming.


Christmas is coming.


A child born in the world.  A sign of hope.  A symbol of love.  So there is some busyness and frustration along the way, this Christmas season is still something we can look forward to, and that begins now in Advent.


But first, this Sunday’s readings, which are:

Isaiah 2:1-5

Psalm 122

Romans 13:11-14

Matthew 24:36-44


You know, nothing quite says “Advent” like end time and apocalyptic literature.  I used to find it so odd that we’d get texts like these (as in scripture texts, not SMS texts) at a time that is supposed to be about hope.  But then I realised that the issue around apocalyptic literature isn’t around scripture, but around my own perception of what apocalyptic literature represents.


For me, and likely for many, the end times are scary times.


Times of judgement, times of guilt, times of punishment for all the bad things that you’ve done in your life.  But if you peel away at all those layers, we get to meet Jesus.  We get to see God.  We get to spend eternity with the Almighty, basking in glory and God’s own peace.


Is this really something to be afraid of?  Or worry over?


I would say not.  Instead, it gives me a great sense of hope of what is to come.  I’m not saying that the end is near or that judgement day is coming or even that Revelation is to be taken literally.  What I am saying is that if we don’t focus on the scary stuff in life, we may actually get to see the hopeful stuff that God blesses us with.


You know, stuff like community, relationship, and love.  When we focus on those and have hope in them, we then can look to the future with longing and peace (instead of the usual anxiety and fear).  And that is what Advent is about: looking ahead with hope.


May we continue in this hope for the next few weeks and beyond, even when the hectic hecticness of hectacy creeps up on us in this hectic season.


Have a great week, everyone!