Our scripture for the first week in Advent is Romans 13: 11-14
‘As you do all this, you know what time it is. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. Now our salvation is near. So let’s rid ourselves of the actions that belong to the darkness and put on the weapons of light. Let’s behave appropriately as people who live in the day, not in partying and getting drunk, not in sleeping around and obscene behavior, not in fighting and obsession. Instead, dress yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.’
SOOOO …. Merry CHRISTMAS …. That is how we are going to begin the Advent Season. Actually this passage is quite relevant for today’s world. Many of us are tired. We have just journeyed through a contentious political election, leaving one segment of the country content and the other concerned.
We are tired because we have had some situations in our worshipping community that have been sad. People we LOVED have died and other people in our church family have been ill. We miss people who have gone before us. People struggle. They contend with health issues – with family issues – financial issues and relationship issues. Some times it feels like we are walking in the darkness and that we need a little help to fine the LIGHT.
This passage is about turning away from the things that hurt us and looking to the LIGHT. Dressing ourselves in the LIGHT. Dressing ourselves in the Lord!
One of my favorite and most endearing times I spend time with my 3 grandkids is when they play ‘dress up’. One single ‘light saber’ can turn 4 year old Judah into Luke Skywalker in an instant, at which time Judah will save the entire living room from the ‘dark forces’.
Harper (5 years old) actually turns into a cat and purrs and meows when she is in her dress up cat outfit. We often identify parts of who we are, by how we dress. We show allegiance to things by what we wear (Just notice the right/middle side of the sanctuary when the Steelers have a game) SO when Paul is writing to the church in Rome and encouraging them to ‘dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ’ it makes sense.
We are beginning a time of preparation. Advent is getting ready for the birth of our Savior. We need to get dressed up! We need to put on the clothes of Christ. Put on the ‘clothes’ that help us to care for others. Put on the ‘clothes’ that give us eyes to see the ‘child of God’ in each person we meet. Put on the ‘clothes’ that shows that we LOVE others. Put on the ‘clothes’ that take time to honor and praise God for being GOD.
Put on the ‘clothes’ that emphasize JOY and HOPE. Put on the ‘clothes’ that help us to be humble and to acknowledge our shortcomings and sins and ask for forgiveness. Put on ‘clothes’ that show hospitality to others. Put on ‘clothes’ that stand up for justice for those who are not able to stand up for themselves. Put on ‘clothes’ that show that we are working for peace.
Jesus comes to this world and shows us how to dress!
HOSANNA in the highest!
Jesus is coming and we need to be dressed for the occasion!