Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Confirmation I and II: November 28, 2010: First Sunday of Advent - Read the Gospel: Mt 24:37-44

Journal: How did you live out last week's Gospel message? What was tough? What was rewarding?

Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans several years ago. Hundreds died. Rescuers found hundreds trapped on rooftops. Some argued that many people suffered only because the government authorities weren't prepared for the storm. As Advent begins this week, Jesus reminds us that people suffered in Noah's time because they weren't prepared. Remember the story? It tells us that sin and injustice - ignored by God's people - caused the world's destruction. Are we ignoring sin and injustice today? This is a good season to think about that. As you do, prepare yourself for Christ in three ways. First, take time this advent to read newspapers closely. Look for evidence of injustice - war, poverty, prejudice. Keep your eyes open at school. Notice kids ignored by others and notice the bullies who prey on the weak. Sadly, you'll see that our world is still plagued by sin and injustice. But remember, Advent is also a season of hope. It comes at the darkest time of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), so we light candles to remember that Christ's power seeks to beat back the darkness of injustice every day. Second, prepare yourself by looking for evidence of grace. To every war, God sends peacemakers. To every kid who feels left out, God sends a friend. Stay awake, Jesus says, and you'll see reasons for hope all over the world. Third, prepare yourself to be grace and hope this season, the person who shines light by standing for peace, feeding the hungry, forgiving an enemy, or welcoming an outcast. Sure, sin floods our world, but God sends boars to the rescue. Jump on board this Advent. People stranded by pain and injustice are waiting for you.

Journal: Where can you make a difference at home, at school, or in the world this Advent? What will you do? Be specific.

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