First Sunday of Advent
December 1, 2019
Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:37-44

“Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep… Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:13

“Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your God will come.” Matthew 24:42

Today we’re encouraged to stay awake and see the light. Of course, being awake is necessary but not sufficient to see light. In other words, if the sun is shining as bright as ever, and we’re asleep with blankets covering our faces, and shades pulled down, we still won’t see the light. Even if we’re awake outside in the sun but blindfolded, we still won’t see the light.

In order to do our part to address the social injustices that surround us every day, we need to not only stay awake, but we need to also take off the blinders and open the curtains to see the light. To use a colloquialism that became popular a few years ago, we need to “Stay Woke!”

For example, we ought to know the persistently alarming statistic that young black men (ages 15-34) are nine times as likely to be killed by police as other Americans (The Counted Project, as reported in The Guardian, January 8, 2017).

How often do we close our eyes and choose to be unaware of the depth and breadth of racial injustices in our society today? How many ways are we treating our brothers and sisters contrary to the way Jesus taught us to live?

Today, let’s pause a moment to reflect on this question and then take an intentional step to become a better ambassador for justice and peace in our immediate surroundings. (V.L.)

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