Bringing Love to Chaos

Bringing Love to Chaos

By Elizabeth Chesley-Jewell

If you were to attend the Atrium downstairs today, you would witness the littlest ones of the parish preparing our prayer table for Advent. They will light one candle for hope and raise their voices asking Jesus to, “come and be born in our hearts.” Since the Atrium opened in 2016 the way I celebrate Advent has changed. It can be difficult to look inward and examine your heart to ensure it is ready to receive the newborn child. However, this can be done joyfully. For the love of Jesus Christ envelops us regardless of our faults. The preparation process becomes easier when you acknowledge that you are loved unconditionally and that the joy of Christmas will come to you regardless of how unworthy you feel. The Gospel today begins a little less joyfully. We are told of great disasters that will precede the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Son of Man will come, but not before floods and chaos upset the earth and its people. The whole event sounds bleak and it does not paint a very good picture of the world we have created. We are warned that when Christ comes in Glory, we will ignore all the signs that are in front of us like we have done for centuries. If it happened tomorrow most of us would miss it unless it went viral on social media. So how do we prepare ourselves? The Gospel tells us to stop worrying about the things we cannot control and instead focus on strengthening our hearts, so we may escape disaster and stand before Jesus in His magnificence. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians tells us that we do this by increasing our love for one another. Being self-absorbed prevents us from loving the stranger and from valuing each human we encounter. Furthermore, it inhibits us from receiving the redemptive love of Jesus Christ. You cannot be fully open to something that you do not value. It is not about being perfect, for Christ’s love knows no bounds. Instead, it is about reaching out to those in our midst and being the face of Christ in a lost world. It is through performing acts of love that we become closer to Jesus Christ, and prepare the world for the celebration of His birth and for when He comes again in Glory. That is where the joy of the Advent season is found, in giving and receiving love. May you receive the strength you need to accept and share the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

Sunday’s Readings:

Jeremiah 33.14-16

Psalm 25

1 Thessalonians 3.12-4.2

Luke 21.25-28, 34-36