Sunday, 1 December 2019

Aslan & Advent, 1st Sunday of Advent Year A

Mt 24:37-44
So we’ve just started Advent, and was thinking at the start of this week, even before Advent began, about how much I LOVE Advent.
Advent is a time of expectation;
A time of looking ahead;
A time of hope;
A time characterised by the fact that although we have the Lord with us, we also look ahead to a time when He will come in a new and definitive way.

Then, while I’m was in this lovely Advent mood,
then, to ruin it all, I read the readings that the Church gives us for this First Sunday of Advent.
And, to put it mildly, they are bit of a downer:
They speak of the judgment -of the fearful warning that the Lord Jesus gave;
He spoke of how many of us will NOT be saved   -50/50 is the ratio that Jesus indicates;
Many of us will not be ready.

Many of us will not be ready.
Then, I also thought about how I’m not ready for Christmas
How many presents do I have sorted? None
How many cards written? None 
There are still 20 shopping days till Christmas
and 16 days when I can still post a second-class Christmas card
But, if Christmas came NOW, I wouldn’t be ready.

The coming of the Lord will be a GREAT thing.
When He comes in glory and might at the end of time, it will be wonderful.
It will also be awesome, in the sense of fearsome.
He will come on HIS terms not on ours.

Yes, He is my friend, my brother, the One who loves me.
His coming will bring delight for His chosen ones.
He is also judge, ruler, master, creator, God.
He can be a GREAT friend because He is indeed GREAT.
But that means we do not relate to Him as equals -we must treat Him with AWE, we must be ready.
The Bible calls Him “the Lion of Judah”(Rev 5:5),
and lions are not tame.
Many of you will be familiar with CS Lewis’s Narnia novels, and their Christ-figure Aslan.  To relate a conversation in that novel that sums this point up: 
Mr Beaver said, “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." 
"Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite SAFE? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"...
"Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn't safe. But he's GOOD. He's the King, I tell you.”

Advent is a time of expectation, of looking ahead.
It’s a time to get ready, to get ready for Christmas.
The Church bids us start to get ready by remembering His FINAL coming in glory and power.
We do this as a way of remembering WHO it that we are preparing for
-not just a cuddly baby in a crib, but our Lord and God.

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