Advent hope - Reflections 11-26-2021

The texts for Sunday, November 29
The First Sunday of Advent

Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

I am glad that Advent arrives this Sunday. I need a good dose of Advent hope.

From this week:
A couple of members got light case of COVID even though they are vaccinated and have received boosters.

From today:
The health world is on edge again with another COVID variant, Omicron. WHO called it a variant of concern. Early analysis indicated the possibility of a more contagious version on which the current vaccines might be less effective. “Don’t let your guard down yet.” say the experts. “Stay alert.”

I am so ready to stop keeping my guard up and to stop staying alert. Weary you could say.

In this week’s Gospel, Luke describes a “people [who] will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming” (v.26). And admonishes “Be alert at all times” (v.36).

At the time Luke wrote this Gospel, society was fraying at the edges; the world had already fallen apart 20 years or so ago when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem temple in military action against Judah. Like when Jesus was around, many people had hoped that a military Messiah would come and vanquish the Romans. Luke shares Jesus’ words that the Kingdom of God is near. Keep your heads up. It’s coming. Watch for signs of the Kingdom already come. Let these signs assure you that it has begun. Pay attention.

We too are counseled to watch for signs in spite of our fainting and foreboding, our fear and weariness. The days are coming when justice and righteousness will fill the land (Jeremiah 33:14). That is a promise. God is gracious (Psalm 25). That is our assurance. May you increase and abound in love for one another and for all (1 Thessalonians 3:12). That is a blessing. 

The everlasting love of Christ is more certain than any of the chaos. That is hope.

That message is for all peoples of all times. Be alert. The kingdom is breaking in. Pay attention. There is promise, assurance, blessing, and hope.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245