Updated: Jan 29
Another beginning is upon us. We have almost begun December and the Advent season lets us know that Christmas is coming.
As I mentioned last Sunday, when I talked about the cycling and re-cycling of time, here is another consideration: December is the last month of our calendar year, yet it represents the first month of our liturgical year.
The last month of our secular calendar year is the when we celebrate the “New Year” liturgically.
You may notice how
the same theme is seen in the readings today, where much of the text focuses on the end of times, while we are preparing for the beginning of Jesus.
That “Genesis” story of Baby Jesus is presented now as the prophecy of Jesus telling of signs to look for, “in the sun, the moon, and the stars.” That is like the signs of The Revelation, so we flow from the first to the last and then from the last to the first. The Alpha and the Omega stated symbolically.
That is how a circle is. The one point designated as the first leads around to the point designated as the 360th, which joins both the first and the last together. However, when the circle is seen from the side, as the shape of a threaded screw, the place where the two appeared to join are actually where the two are aligned – one above and one below.
All of the points in the circle between the first and last are either ascending or descending. This is the natural circular path between two ends that come together and align.
In this cycle of growth we can learn that the principle stating “As above, so below” is demonstrating how what seems to be the end is merely a reflection of a cycle before, with another cycle still to come.
As such, the prophecy of Jeremiah, the wishes of Paul to the Thessalonians, and the signs that are to come, told of by Jesus, are not limited to any one time, past or future. These readings [as with all scheduled readings from Biblical liturgy] have bearing at all times.
The Advent is thus not limited to any one time: past, present or future. Everything in the readings today that is seen as focusing on the times that are apart from ours now can equally be seen as reflective of Our Times, as models of Our Lives now.
The Advent then reflects a time for beginning to see ourselves in the words sent to us through Scripture, as all Christians need their own Advent, in order to find the truth of Salvation.
In Jeremiah we read how the promise made to the houses of Israel and Judah by the LORD would be fulfilled, with that fulfillment being “a righteous Branch to spring up for David.”
That new growth should be seen as a spiral upward, to a new higher level. Likewise, we should hear the parable of the fig tree [and all trees] as symbolizing this upward growth, in one’s quest to fulfill our Covenant with God, where we “will be called, “The LORD is my righteousness.””
Since history tells us the house of Israel was scattered to the four corners of the world, as the tribes lost through captivity and interbreeding, they represent the past. Israel, as the Northern Kingdom (with its ten tribes), represents those who were given opportunity but squandered it. Through neglect, they reverted to Gentile status.
The Jews, who represent the house of Judah, are still around. They call themselves and are referred to by others as Jews. However, by calling themselves Jews and not Christians, they are locked down in the present, not secured of any future promise. They still await God’s promise being fulfilled, which means God still awaits their commitment to Jesus as their Christ.
Jeremiah then prophesied, “And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”” That means, instead of Jews not being righteous, they are equally as flawed as Gentiles. While still claiming a lost Covenant makes them special – so special they deny the promise having been fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth –the Jews have no claim to righteousness, which is always their end of that bargain.
Thus, Christianity represents the totality of a future where Salvation is possible.
Unfortunately, just as the Israelites mostly lost out on the promise that was Jesus of Nazareth, so too can Christians miss out Salvation. That loss comes by doing what one wants, rather than doing what is required to receive righteousness.
Now, Paul wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians, “May he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”
That was not a recommendation for the Christian apostles of Thessaly to wait for the end of the world, as if that was when our Lord Jesus was going to be seen coming.
Add what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke to what John wrote in The Revelation [read last Sunday], where both John and Jesus quoted from Daniel, saying: “the Son of Man coming in a cloud,” and one could conclude that implies a not yet seen occurrence. We believe no one has yet seen Jesus Christ coming from the sky; and because of that we await his return.
That view keeps the “coming” of Jesus an event that keeps getting “kicked on down the road,” into the future. It projects in our minds the End Times.
The problem with that mindset is that Christianity would have died long ago if we all had to wait forever to see Jesus Christ returning from heaven in a cloud. Therefore, Paul did not intend anyone to wait for that “coming.” He had already seen it, along with his fellow apostles, including some of the Thessalonians.
Every true Christian has experienced the coming of Christ, when the Holy Spirit has “happened” upon them, transforming each into Jesus reborn.
When that happens “our hearts are strengthened” from that holy presence. We become “blameless before our God,” as God sits upon the throne of our hearts. The Holy Spirit of our Father brings about the Christ Mind within us, just as was the Holy Spirit in Jesus of Nazareth. That is itself a circle path that repeats, because that way happens “with all God’s saints.”
When you can see this is an ever-present “NOW” call to be a saint, as every Christian’s Advent, it is not hard to see Jesus saying, “People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.” That is a statement about all times, ever since those words were spoken, because a world without Christ’s presence will always be as lost as were the houses of Israel and Judah. We can look at the news today and see fear and foreboding all around.
This need to fear a loss of God in one’s heart makes the “suggestion” of Paul forever relevant in the NOW, and only when fear and foreboding sets into one’s heart … a fear of not having God within … can one pray for “our hearts to be strengthened” by God’s rescue.
Jesus said, “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that each day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.”
Of mice and men, comes the struggle to survive, while avoiding traps.
He then said how we should be “praying that [we] may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
We stand before the Son of Man NOW, when the Son of Man is set inside our being by God, via the Holy Spirit bringing us the Mind of Christ. We stand before that which is behind our strengthened hearts.
When Jesus told the parable, stating, “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.” That is a “sign in the sun,” our life star.
We are like trees that sprout shoots of new growth, as the Advent of warmth and comfort that comes from the Sun – our light of truth – brings forth that new beginning. The Advent is then when we “know that the kingdom of God is near.” The “sun” that is Christ brings the warmth of peace.
Light & Truth are qualities that connect Christ and Apollo, the Sun god
All generations begin the same way, thus “this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.” We are but one link in the spiraling course of humanity over time. Therefore, “Heaven and earth will pass away,” as a cycle of beginning and end, Genesis and The Revelation. It reflects a transformation from the spiritual to the physical … as life to death, which is assured to all mortals.
Still, the words spoken by Jesus “will not pass away,” as the cycle that breaks the chain of soul reincarnations, back into the earthly plane, comes when our hearts are strengthened in holiness and we stand before our God – just as we stand before the Son of Man, as the Son of Man reborn.
We then share the same Father as Jesus of Nazareth, as we do “at the coming of our Lord Jesus” into us, we become righteous. We change the cycle of growth from life to death to a higher level. We sprout the leaves of eternal rebirth and everlasting life, once we join the ranks of God’s saints.
May this Advent mark your beginning on this path to righteousness … to a Happy New You!
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