The kingdom of God lies in the future – it is in the process of being created. We are not called to fear the modern world but to sanctify it – to see God’s will within it and help all humanity continue the journey. Our faith is not an escape from the complexities of life, but rather it should give us the strength to face life.
We don’t know what the future holds for our world, particularly in the short term, but God’s future depends, in a quite terrifying way, at least partly, on how we women and men commit ourselves to that future, trusting the Spirit, searching for the positive possibilities, being willing to risk. We have to engage with the great themes which we traditionally remember from the archetypal stories of the Bible on these four Sundays of Advent – the Patriarchs, courage moving into the unknown; the Prophets, passion for justice; John the Baptist, calling the people to repentance, believing a new beginning is possible; and Mary, who welcomed God into her life.
The dawn of a new year is not an invitation to repeat the past. Neither our Church nor our world can remain repeating year after year, like a mouse turning their wheel in their cage. A rut, dug deep, becomes a grave. A new year calls us to renew our search for life in all its future fullness. We are not created in the image of the amoeba from which we evolved, but in the image of God to whom we journey. The God who is always ahead of us, calling us into a new year, new hope, new life. God bless you on the journey.
This is the end of the sermon that Jim Mein preached on Advent Sunday:
to read the rest, click this link.