34 Don’t spend all of your time thinking about eating or drinking or worrying about life.
If you do, the final day will suddenly catch you 35 like a trap. That day will surprise everyone on earth. 36 Watch out and keep praying that you can escape all that is going to happen and that the Son of Man will be pleased with you.
Tomorrow is the First Sunday of Advent. Some may ask; What is Advent?
Before I talk about this week’s Gospel lesson, let me explain what Advent is. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, “to come to,” and refers to the coming of Christ. This refers, first of all, to our celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas; but second, to the coming of Christ in our lives through grace and the Sacrament of Holy Communion; and finally, to His Second Coming at the end of time.
I grew up in a family that did not celebrate Advent because that was too Catholic. I guess you could say we were real separatists from Christian Orthodoxy. I had no idea what Advent was all about until later in my Christian experience.
It would seem that when the Reformation occurred in the 1500’s there was a tendency to not follow Christian custom, but to launch out into a new arena of Revelation and Inspiration. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, Revelation and Inspiration is a tremendous part of our Christian life and it is through understanding this, that our faith has been preserved for centuries.
Advent begins four Sunday’s before Christmas Day and during that time we should be aware of why it has been referred to as “Little Lent,” for as in Lent we should give ourselves to prayer, fasting and doing good deeds. I’ll deal with Lent as we approach Easter.
Many would say, “We should do the prayer, fasting and good deeds all the time.” That’s true, but to have a specified time during the year when we especially focus our life, efforts and faith in a designated direction really makes a huge difference.
Okay, we know about Christ’s birth and now we will not only celebrate His birth but we will also celebrate His coming into our lives and especially when we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This is a great time to become a acutely aware of His presence in our lives.
Of course we also acknowledge His Second Coming is yet to happen and in this week’s Gospel lesson Luke talks about the end time and the surprise that will happen. It’s a surprise because we don’t know the hour in which He will return for the Church.
In a way, His second coming is a bit like our expectation at Christmas: we don’t know what we are receiving in the packages under the tree, but we know a gift has been given.
The most wonderful gift has been given to humanity and that is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ. During this wonderful time of Advent will you consider spending more time in prayer, fasting and doing good deeds? I’m not talking about getting hung up on ritual, but experiencing freedom in doing what is good and right.
As we attend our churches this first Sunday of Advent, some of you will not hear anything about this wonderful season. Please remember this article and each week follow the scripture that will be shared with you and just let the Holy Spirit give you direction as we approach Christmas. I think you will experience a spiritual renewal.
Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and can be reached at 812-662-5154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica
- Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to
- Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i
- Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant
- Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be
- Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h
- Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m
- Pat Smith: Undiscovered treasures in the home Last week I wrote about finding a certificate showing that my husband had purchased 15 shares of the “Souvenir Stock of Greensburg Community Centennial, Inc held in 1959. What I found nearby was even more intriguing; at least, it was to me. It is a v
- What's in the attic? Shoes! Shoes reflect our personality, our fashion sense, our role in society and our mood on any given day. Without a word they say, soccer mom, corporate executive, medical technician or going nowhere, doin’ nothing’. Last year in the US more than 350 mill
- Road to funding Indiana highways jammed INDIANAPOLIS – If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ri
- More Columns Headlines