Advent Message Series - What Are You Waiting For? - Week 1 - Focus
Happy New Year! Today we begin the new liturgical year with the First Sunday in Advent. We also begin our four-part message series entitled, What are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for … FOCUS!
We live in a world filled with trials, temptations, distractions and deceptions. Therefore, as Christians we must nevertheless try and remain focused and maintain a right course, especially if we live and work around sincere and well-meaning people who do not share our values and convictions. It can sometimes be easy to forget that there are plenty of dangerous traps to deceive and destroy the unwary believer. We also know that the Bible is filled with warnings about the consequences of losing our focus and it gives us plenty of instructions for staying on course— if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear! So, what are you waiting for?
There is an old saying that those who do not learn the lessons of history will repeat the mistakes of history. The Sacred Scriptures record many examples of this fundamental truth.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden because their focus was diverted away from God’s instructions in listening to Satan and his subtly twisted half-truths, following their own flawed human reasoning.
The ancient nation of Israel went into captivity because it followed misguided leaders and focused on pagan ways of worship instead of following God’s holy commandments.
David got into trouble, and Solomon’s heir lost the ten-tribed House of Israel, because they began to focus on the physical creation, instead of obeying their Creator and His instructions.
Scripture has recorded these examples for the admonition of Christians in order to remind us to keep our focus.
The second reading today is from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. In it, Paul writes to a Church that also needs perspective and focus. Considering itself ready for the Lord’s coming, the Corinthian Church will learn in this letter how woefully unprepared the apostle thinks it really is. The Church in Corinth is marked by:
Theological errors and unethical practices;
Forgetting the poor;
Constant infighting; and
Interest in self-advancement.