December 20, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Today we enter the final few days before Christmas. In the secular world this is a hectic time of last minute gifts, parties, baking, and other preparations. In the world of church workers, the same is often true. There are the last minute rehearsals for pageants, anthems, and final touches to put on the Christmas decorations for the altar.
The collect calls us to something much different. We are reminded that Jesus is present and that we are ‘mansions’ that we make ready for God. That is hard to do when you are busy, busy with details and worried that things might not be just right.

Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary, faced that same issue while fixing a meal for Jesus and his disciples when they visited. Jesus reminds her that there is another way, and that simple can sometimes be better. 
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”(Luke 10:28-42)
Martha was fretting about having just the perfect feast and forgetting that true hospitality involves spending time with the guests. Jesus wants to be our guest this Advent and Christmas, and every day. This week's chain is here.
Do we take time to welcome Him into our homes, our mansions? 

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