sermon Nov 29

Trinity United Church

Nov. 29th, 2020

First Sunday in Advent


Denis La Rose


Isaiah 64: 1-9

Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19

Mark 13:  24-37

1 Corinthians 1:  3-9


Opening Prayer

O Creator we ask for your blessing and support as we endure these troubling times of a pandemic.  We strife to find the Hope of Advent in the midst of many troubles throughout the world.  Help us focus on our faith and the teachings of your son Jesus Christ as we search for the courage to carry on and thrive in such tumultuous times. Remind us that gratitude and love are the path the Holy Spirit and your enduring love.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.


This week’s reading from Mark 13 has some very powerful prophesy attributed to Jesus.  He describes his return when he will gather his elect from the four winds, the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.  His arrival will be preceded by “the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” paraphrase “the Son of Man will come in clouds with great power and glory.”  Verse 30  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”  Verse 32 proceeds to tell us that no one knows about day or hour, not even the angles in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  (paraphrased)  These particular verses of the reading are considerably beyond my theological understandings and are probably the subject of many books already written.  I also do not have the courage to take on the disparity between Verse 30 and verse 32.  I will instead focus on verses 33 to 37 as I can find a relevance in these verses that can be applied daily in our lives and is particularly pertain for the times we are in.

Verse 33 begins with “ Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know then that time will come.”  It is then followed by a parable about a man leaving his house and assigning each of his servants their task.  One servant is to keep watch at the door.  We are advised to keep watch because we do not know when the owner will return.  My interpretation is that we must keep watch and be alert because we don’t  know when that Judgement Day may come.

My concern is not about Judgement Day but about living my daily life in a manner that wold uphold the criteria that would be pleasing to God.  I believe that by putting my intention of living the life that Jesus has taught us I believe I will reap the benefits of such a life each and every day.  That said I am a human being will all the flaws that that entails.  Being on guard and being alert is a must if I am going to catch my mistakes and mistreatment of others.  I have to be alert to my prejudices, my judgements, of the times I blame others and especially when I allow fear to seep into my heart and taint my judgement.  Trying to be a follower of Christ is a lot of work!

A lot of that work happens when I pray, meditate or just reflect on my interactions with others throughout the day.  Was I truthful, was I respectful?  Did I offer the Lord some gratitude for the good things in my life?  Who did I offer prayers for, did I forget any one?  Am I sure that the prayers for myself doesn’t sound like a shopping list?  Did I ask the Lord for some guidance?  And did I take the time to listen to his guidance?  These are just a few ways that I try to stay alert, be on guard.  I am sure you can add to this list.

Lastly, we are in the first week of the Advent season, this week we light the candle of Hope.  It is in my view a very good time to reflect on the value of hope and how we can individually and collectively brighten the light of Hope this week.  That shall be your homework.



Live your life with hope

Cast our fear

Let God’s love in

Share God’s love

Feel the Holy Spirits presence

Wherever you go.  Amen


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