Blog Space of Rev. Adrian J. Pratt B.D, pastor at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church, Ellicott City, MD

Monday, November 25, 2019

Feasting on Hope

Feasting on Hope

Here's hoping you will have a blessed Thanksgiving and time to reflect on the many blessings God has showered upon our lives. Yet no sooner have all the dishes been cleared away and everybody traveled back to wherever they came from, than we are getting our sights set on Christmas! There is hardly time to take a breath.

Last Sunday we reflected on the theme “Christ the King.” Our sermon from the day can be found here. This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Many churches will be focused on lectionary passages that are all about the coming Kingdom of God, such as Matthew 24:36-44, the suggested passage for the day.

The readings continue to speak about a theme that has been part of our reflections the last few weeks; namely that however things may appear, God still has the whole world in God's hands. God is in control. One aspect of this passage that always fascinates me, is the motif of “surprise” in Matthew's view of the future. Whilst telling us in no uncertain terms that the day of the Lord will come, we are cautioned not to speculate about when such an event may take place.

Rather our calling is to work at the kind of things that bring the Kingdom closer. If we want to see a hope filled world then we are invited to offer some hope. If we wish to see war at an end then we are called to support initiatives towards peace. If we want to see the poor lifted up, then we are called to do some serious sharing from out of the abundance God has blessed us with.

The surprise comes when our small and seemingly insignificant actions are shown to have made a difference to somebody and opened a little window of hope into their lives. What a blessing to observe our actions actually making a difference. “One day,” the prophets declare, “All will be well.” In the meantime? We are invited to do the little things that turn out to be the big things.

This coming Sunday will also be a communion Sunday. The table will be laid with bread and wine. As we remind ourselves how Jesus gave Himself, heart and soul, to the salvation of the world, we are encouraged to commit our selves to the continuing work of building His kingdom.

For some music multi Gospel Grammy winner Andrae Crouch sings “Soon And Very Soon” at a Tennessee Ernie Ford "Great American Gospel Sound" concert.

Prayer:”Lord, in this Advent season we seek that our lives may be a source of hope for others. We dare to believe that You have all things under control and one day its all going to turn out right. But until that time... help us to carry on trusting that our actions make a difference. Amen.”

The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.

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