Thursday, December 3, 2009

29 November 2009 - Advent 1 Sermon




Advent 1 Sermon – 29 November 2009
The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Greenwood, Virginia

Advent
the season of waiting
longing
expectation
But the thing about Advent is
that it may describe our whole spiritual life
Something is coming to us…
We spend a great deal of time waiting

The season of anticipation
To wait
Anticipate
For what are we waiting?
What is coming to us?
Do we have eyes to see it?

When we wait upon a birth
Can we be ready?
We clean the house
We paint the walls
We buy furniture
We try to nest
We try to slow down
But the world is busy
We read books
“What to expect…”
But, can we be ready?
How do we prepare a heart?
How do we make room?
We gather
We hug
We cry
We laugh
We pray

When we wait upon death
Can we be ready?
We try to prepare our heart
We clean the house
We put affairs in order
We say goodbye?
We try to control what we can control
We ask forgiveness
We forgive
We gather
We hug
We cry
We laugh
We pray

When we wait upon a time of peace
And concord
How do we wait?
We look around
And see many disturbing things
We mourn for the hungry
We see those in pain
We are angry at injustice
Frustrated with our inhumanity to humankind
How do we wait for the peace of Christ
How do we prepare
We ask for forgiveness
We forgive
We clean what we can clean
We give from our abundance
We give from our own poverty
We pray for hope

Like awaiting a birth, or a death, or peace in our time
Advent reminds us
That God came into the world
This world
This world!
With all its turmoil, pettiness, pain
With all its love, beauty, joy
This world
God came into the world
Became human

Like awaiting a birth, or a death, or peace in our time
Advent reminds us
That God still comes into this world
This world
This world!
For the likes of us
US!
Even us, in our brokenness, busy-ness, and humanity
God comes into this world for the likes of us.
US!

Like the longing for a birth, or a death, or peace in our time
Advent offers us hope in the midst of our longing
In the midst of our crazy-busy lives
Advent promises hope in the midst of this world
This world
This world!
This world of war, rumors of war
This world of brokenness, of strained relationships
This world of dashed dreams and hurts
Advent promises hope in the midst of this world

And so,
We can prepare a home for hope
We can clear away some space for God in the midst
We can open up moments for us to recognize God
In the midst
God is there, ever-present,
pouring out Grace upon us
Are we prepared to feel it?
Have we taken the time to turn and see?
Have we cleaned up?
Have we forgiven?
Have we asked for forgiveness?
God is there, ever-present, pouring out Grace upon us.

And, so
We can prepare our hearts
Clean our spaces
Paint the walls
Read the books
Pray
Laugh
Cry
And live in anticipation, expectation, longing, and hope.  Advent

Come thou long expected Jesus
Come to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in thee.

O come o come
Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
Who mourns in lonely exile her
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice, Rejoice
Emmanuel shall come to thee
O Israel

1 comment:

  1. Hi Peter,

    Your eloguent sermon, poem ,continues to resonate like a bell after it has been rung for it has pierced the ordinary expectation and lifted conscious awareness to quieter, listening level.The delivery also carried the moment to a higher plane. THANK YOU!

    S. Hauff

    ReplyDelete