First Sunday of Advent - Keep Awake
Today is the First Sunday of the Season of Advent---Advent is a season of expectation when we begin to look forward to the coming of the Messiah, and the promise of hope for a troubled world.
I don't know about you, but I am expecting something a whole lot better than what we had this past year. That's what I want for Christmas, y'all!
So over the course of this Advent season, we will be living into the expectation of a better world, the expectation of a Messiah who will set things to rights, the expectation of better days, better news...
Today I am going to be talking about what it means to be awake, and alert to see what God is doing in the world around us---so we can live in expectation with some measure of awareness that it's going somewhere good!
First, we're going to watch a video. What I want you to do is to watch this video and count how many times the people in white shirts pass the ball. Pay close attention to the people in the white shirts so you can count. I'll reveal the number on the other side of the video.
So the number is 15.
But did you see the gorilla in the video? Did you miss the fact that a gorilla literally walked into the scene while you were counting?
Over half the people who watch this video and follow the instructions miss the gorilla, so don't feel bad.
So the question we need to ask ourselves is this: How often does this happen to us in other parts of our lives? How often do we miss what's really going on because we are focused on something else?
How often do we miss out on the presence of God because we are too distracted?
One of the terms that get thrown around a good bit these days is the term "woke."
There are a few definitions of the word like this one from Merriam Webster:
Woke (adj.) alert to injustice in society, especially racism.
But the Urban Dictionary has this to say about the word:
Woke (adj.): The act of being very pretentious about how much you care about a social issue
24 “But in those days, following that distress,“‘the sun will be darkened,and the moon will not give its light;25 the stars will fall from the sky,and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[a]26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[b] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert[c]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”