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 email@example.com.
- Holidays bring tidings of comfort and joy We email, Tweet, Facebook, and of course, we text. But when was the last time you a sat down and wrote to someone? It's not that we don't have the opportunity. Most everyone has family out of town or a friend in a hospital or a nursing home who woul
- Mother shares story of heartbreak and hope There are several words to describe people who have known loss. A person who has lost their spouse is a widow or widower. A person who's lost his or her parents is an orphan. But there is no word for someone who has experienced the loss of a child.
- Retro: everything old is new again Retro fashions from the '50s, '60s and '70s are seeing sales today that rival those from the decades of their origin. If you fall into the over 50 crowd, you will remember exactly where these trends originated - and if you don't, let me refresh your
- What was the big news 150 years ago? A word before this week's column - please note that you are invited to the First Presbyterian Church on the Square Dec. 8. Alice Goddard was church organist there for 18 years and never missed a Wednesday evening to practice with the choir. Her dedi
- New dinosaur unearthed Archaeologists have unearthed the foundation of a 2,000-year-old, black basalt synagogue in Capernaum were they believe Jesus often taught. Capernaum was located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Capernaum was Jesus' "hometown" during the th
- Setting the tone on Organization Day It has been more than five months since the legislature's last day in session. Although the interim has been filled with summer study committees, the atmosphere around the Statehouse simply isn't the same. Last Tuesday, however, was Organization Day
- How a federal drug discount program really works Merrill Matthews' Nov. 14 opinion column on the 340B drug discount program, "Congress Tries to Lower Drug Costs and Raises Health Premiums Instead," arrives at a myriad of wrong conclusions. Mathews has a long history with the insurance industry that
- Facing my technological ignorance on the path to the future Supposedly, advances in technology lead us on an adventurous path into the future. Maybe so, but from what I've experienced, I think I'll saddle my mule and go in another direction. That is, if I can figure out how to program the mule. Compared to,
- Thankful for safety through weekend storms It was good to wake up this morning after a day of threatening weather. I am so thankful that the only inconvenience we had was about five hours of being in the dark after the storms had basically passed over us. Thank you to the Decatur County REMC
- Everyone deserves a shining moment "Everyone deserves a shining moment. Ours was a dandy." So said Jeff Kuehl about the Front and Center Players of Decatur County. They certainly didn't disappoint anyone in the audience of this year's variety show. The performers' joy was contagious.
- More Columns Headlines