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December 8, 2012

Let's get Wasted! #KeepingAdvent

Image not my own

I don't know if being drunk makes life better. There are a lot of people that believe this. Being drunk can certainly make a night more fun, but it can also ruin things. I know there are a lot of recovering substance abusers who would agree that the above image is a lie.

Read today's scripture:
Luke 21:25-36
2 Peter 3:10-13

There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, there will be dismay among the nations in their confusion over the roaring of the sea and surging waves. The planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken, causing people to faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world. Then they will see the Human One coming on a cloud with power and great splendor. Now when these things happen, stand up straight and raise your heads because your redemption is near.

Jesus told them a parable. "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening you know that God's kingdom is near. i assure you that this generation won't pass away until everything has happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.

Take care that your hearts aren't dulled by drinking parties (or dissipation) , drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don't let that day fall on you unexpectedly, like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth. Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.              Common English Bible

I hope you read that. This is an Advent reading. This time of year is about red ribbons, pretty bows, peace, joy, presents and spiked egg nog. It's a time for family, watching reruns of A Christmas Story and other seasonal movies. This a special season in our calendar year when we give, share and spend time together; certainly not talk about chaos in the cosmos, fainting and foreboding about imminent doom in the coming days.

But this is an important message.

The countdown to Christmas has begun. A Savior was born, our great Immanuel,"God with us." The prophesies were fulfilled at the birth of Mary's child. The birth of our Savior was and still remains to be a sign of God's love and ability to fulfill his promises. Advent brings us back to the stories, back to the crazy ways God fulfilled his promises, back to remembering that our Lord came and will be coming again.

Which brings us to today and our scripture readings; Luke (above) and 2 Peter (below) which is a cross reference for our Luke passage.

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a dreadful noise, the elements will be consumed by fire, and the earth all the works done on it will be exposed. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be? You must live holy and godly lives, waiting for and hastening the coming day of God. Because of that day, the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. But according to his promise we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
2 Pt. 3:10-13 -Common English Bible

So here we are... waiting.  These are frightful passages, but they could also be encouraging. Let's sober up. Let's stop being consumed with worry and money. Let's shake off the envy bug that keeps us in discontent. Let's wake up and stand straight for the coming of our Lord.

It's easier said than done...I know.  But let this word from the Lord be reminder to us that we, in fact, are still really waiting. Like Mary (or any mother), who pushed through the pains for childbearing, may we push through the pains of this life and openly embrace the glory and beauty of the next life to come. Keep waiting my friends,  keep waiting. Push through the pain.

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