4th Sunday of Advent – Love
On this fourth Sunday of Advent, let us pray to God as a community.
Our Advent trek through the wilderness finds us on this final Advent Sunday in a clearing with a tent at the end of the path, yet this tent, God’s house, is on the move. The Temple is gone now. Its function was served and it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” which is why Jesus called us to be “the light of the world” and to “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). Friend, the church building IS NOT the house of God. YOU ARE!
To Christ, the church is the Body; Christ is the Head, and the church (the people) is the Body of the head. The house of God is not confined to a building and really never was. God is now relating to humanity by indwelling himself by His Spirit. If you are in Christ, you are the Church. If you are in Christ, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit. God’s presence is in you.
The house of God is not a building, no matter if it has pews, a communion table, or a pulpit. You and I are the house of God. Where we go, that’s where the Church is. Where we go, that’s where God is. What a crazy, beautiful thing.
People of God, God’s house should be on the move and Advent is an essential time for us to be – “a bright and shining light” in this world. Turn your heart to God and remember that you belong to the most powerful, mighty God who created the entire universe and he is madly in love with you. Let your light shine bright so that all may give glory to God. May you live this week with an eternal perspective of your call to bring the brilliant light of Christ to a dark and frightened world.
Live as if God has come among us, because he has. Live as if God has revealed himself to you and called you to love and do good works—because he has. Live in anticipation of the reconciliation of all creation to God—because it is coming. Live as if your life depended upon God’s grace—because it does. And live to celebrate the Advent of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, praising the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
May you be strengthened as you go forth to carry God’s love, as Mary did. A love that is radical, powerful, and life-affirming. Go in peace and live as the church, the Body of Christ.
See you on Christmas Eve.
Rev. Clarissa Martinelli
Pastor, Fifth Avenue UMC
323 South Fifth Avenue
West Bend, WI
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. I am a child of God.” marianne williamison