Homily for the first Sunday of Advent [Year C] – Time for a change

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

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Good morning bus riders!


Happy New Year!


As far as ecclesiastical years go, Happy New Year! We have begun Year C, with the first Sunday of Advent.


I sent emails with the link to the lectionary page to everyone on the list; so, I hope everyone took the time to read them all. This Sunday there are only four … the basics.


We have come from the expanse of the Ordinary after Pentecost season – half of a year – where there were two paths possible to follow, some with optional spurs to take, where the reflection was on a busy life of service to Yahweh.


Now, we return to the base … the beginning … that leads one to a life of service to Yahweh.

The cycle of the Episcopal lectionary is three years; but that does not reflect on how many times one gets to decide on serving Yahweh, as if two years are for trying and the third year is for finally getting it right.


The three-year cycle has to be seen as a spiral, where there is no break in the circles, One cycle leads to a higher cycle, then to another most high. Because they are all cycles of service to Yahweh, the three years should be seen as reflecting on oneself first making the commitment, with the following two being those one helps make the same commitment.


I see this as a generational cycle. First oneself, then one’s immediate family and children; and, finally one’s grandchildren and their families. Service to Yahweh is more than self-service. One is prepared to serve others as Yahweh’s servant.


This can be seen in the theme links these four readings today. It is one that says a time for change has come.


This change can be solely in oneself. It can be in one’s immediate family. It can be in one’s immediate family or sphere of influence. Any time there is change, it is time to prepare to follow a pattern.


Raise your hands is you are married with children.


<Look for raised hands.>


When a man and a woman fall in love and get married (at least the traditional model goes this way), it is then natural – expected – to get pregnant and have a baby.


The excitement becomes news that is announced to the family. Parents are expecting grandchildren. Grandparents are expecting great grandchildren. Everybody had a role to play in this cycle of growth.


Before the baby comes, there is much to do. The mother and father (when first-time parents) need help being shown what to do and what to expect. A nursery needs to be planned, with all the accessories that a baby will need. Mothers help daughters become mothers. Fathers help sons become fathers.


It is a never-ending cycle of life.


The symbolism of the lectionary cycle is all about one being reborn as Yahweh’s Son; and, the first step in that growth and development is preparing for the birth of Jesus’s soul in your own soul.


The lectionary lessons are the Father teaching His Sons to be His Sons. In that way all the prophets and saints who wrote the books from which we read are our family, who is there to help us prepare to be Jesus reborn and be in service to Yahweh.


With that said, look at how the Jeremiah reading begins by saying, “The days are surely coming.”


In that, the word “days” needs to be seen as when light shines. This is not about a specific time coming, as much as it is Yahweh foretelling (through the prophet Jeremiah) that one’s soul will reach a point in time when enlightenment will bring clarity and a sense of purpose.


By Yahweh saying “the days are coming,” the implication that night had come to Israel and Judah, with night being the metaphor for death. Death is what all bodies of flesh are bound to encounter; so, a soul giving life to death is still death waiting to happen, which means a life in darkness.


We need the light to be saved. For our souls to gain eternal life, we must change from darkness into light. We must enter into the days when Yahweh guides our lives.


The promise of days coming at a time of darkness is then parallel to pregnancy, when one senses change is within, which cannot yet be seen without. Advent is the season of pregnancy.


In Jeremiah, pregnancy is stated as “I will cause a righteous branch to spring up for David.” The “righteous branch” is this new growth within, which will ultimately have to come out. It is the newness of change.


The name “David” means “Beloved,” which says the one who is pregnant with a “righteous branch” of Yahweh will be Yahweh’s “Beloved.” That name becomes a statement of marriage; and, marriage is meant to bring new “sprouts” into the world.


Now at the end of the Jeremiah reading is what many term as one of the names of God, which is “Yahweh Tsidkenu,” although many transform that into “Jehovah Tsidkenu,” meaning “Jehovah is our Righteousness.”


The truth is that is not a name. There is no Hebrew word written that states “name.” That is an assumption made from the Hebrew word written that says, “will be called.”


The name written in Yahweh … plain and simple.


It is the one who will give birth to the light of days, from being Yahweh’s “Beloved,” who “will be called.” From divine marriage he or she will be in the name of Yahweh; and, the light of day will shine through the birth of righteousness, where once only darkness was.


The name “Jesus” means “Yah[weh] Will Save,” so the name one of Yahweh’s wife souls is called to bring forth is that of the possessing divine soul that will lead one’s life righteously.

This truth is then seen mirrored in the song of David that follows, where Psalm 25 begins by singing, “To you, Yahweh, I lift up my soul.”


That is actually the whole of verse one; but it is mistranslated.


Raise your hand if you have ever lifted your soul; and, if you did, please tell us all how you did that.


<Look for sheepish faces and shaking heads.>


David did not make that claim. The truth of what he wrote literally has him singing, “into you Yahweh my soul I take.” That says one has the ability to submit to Yahweh in marriage, entering “into” His realm of protection. To “take” one’s “soul” to Him means to offer it willingly.


Any lifting of a soul after that is all Yahweh’s doing. One has to first offer one’s soul to Him and commit to serve Him as His wife soul.


Here is where one needs to remember the newness of first-time parents. They know nothing, based on personal experience. They need help and assistance throughout the pregnancy and the raising of a first child. After that, they have been there, done that; but not before.


This is why David then sang, “Show me your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths,” followed by “Lead me in your truth and teach me.”


That is how Yahweh takes one’s soul and lifts it up to righteousness.


When one is pregnant with Jesus – and Advent leads to the birth of Jesus within oneself – it is the hand of Yahweh at work within. Yahweh is showing one the ways of His Creation within one’s soul, just as He guides the molecular growth and development of a bay inside a mother’s womb.


It is beyond the realm of possibility that any human being can do. All humans can do is lie together. The creation of babies is all God’s work. In fact, human beings lying together is usually not for the purpose of getting pregnant, as many pregnancies are initially seen as mistakes.


Raise your hand if having your first baby forced you to change your ways … become more grown-up.


<Look for raised hands.>


David then sang, “Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love.” That says David knows that Yahweh’s hand reaches out to help his ignorant wives become grown-ups. The transformation of parenthood is similar to the transformation from sinner to saint.


Thus, David sang, “[Yahweh] guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.”


When one lives in darkness, no matter how much material wealth surrounds one’s body of flesh, one is “lowly.” It is “lowly” souls that are placed in Yahweh’s care, out of reciprocal love.


This theme of coming “days” is then found repeated by Paul, in his letter to the Christians of Thessaly. When we read, “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith,” the truth is the words “night” and “day” are set apart from the whole by comma marks, with the word “kai” written between them.


The word “kai” is a marker word that denotes importance to follow, such that it does not need to be translated as a word. The importance says “day” comes after “night.” The same metaphor of death in the flesh [“night”], says it is importantly followed by one becoming a soul raised by Yahweh to eternal life – to the light of “day.”


In that series of words written by Paul, his comparison of “night kai day” comes after one has come “before this God of us.” In that, “us” is the plural statement of “I,” where each one, individually, must appear “before God.”


That becomes the altar of marriage, when a soul kneels “before God” and submits to Him forever, agreeing with all of the Covenant rules. To be “before God” means one must wear the “face of God,” which is the First Commandment.


Rather than Paul writing of his desire to “see you face to face,” his words in the letter state how important it was for all true Christians “to see of you this face” … which means one must wear the face of Yahweh, or one turns away from Him.


When one wears one’s own face, or the face of any lesser gods of the world – one’s addictions – then one lives in darkness. This means Jeremiah spoke as Yahweh, saying, “the days are coming” … when one will be like Paul wrote to the true Christians of Thessaly – “to see of you this face” of Yahweh as your own.


They say a pregnant woman’s face has a glow about it. This is because Yahweh is at work within, making her baby. In the same way, the first Sunday of Advent is when one should also have that special glow, because one is wearing the face of Yahweh, while one’s soul is being prepared to give birth to His Son Jesus.


This was the hope stated by Paul, when we read his saying, “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.” Instead of this being shown in the subjunctive, as a “may” situation, the reality is Paul stated the “purpose” he knew came, speaking from experience.


When one is ‘with child’ there is no “may you have a baby.” It is “when your baby comes.”


Thus, Paul had been there, done that and knew: “your hearts will be strengthened; your sins will be forgiven, as you become blameless in holiness wearing the face of God; and, the Lord of your body of flesh will no longer be your soul, but the possessing soul of Jesus, the Son of Yahweh, who is the Lord of all true Christians.”


Paul then ended by saying it is the same in all saints … truly.


That is Paul knowing what the coming of days means. He had become a branch of righteousness, from marriage to Yahweh. His soul had entered into Yahweh and been taken over by Jesus. Paul was a saint, as are all who give birth to Jesus.


In the Gospel reading from Luke, we hear Jesus telling his disciples about “the days will be coming.” He spoke to them in deep metaphor, which many have such difficulty understanding that they see these words as being about the End Times, yet to have come.


A female gym teacher at an all-girl’s parochial high school could tell a group of thirteen-year old girls a similar story about what they can expect to come, over the next decade of their lives. Similarly, none of them would understand what was being said, while all could intuit the foreboding warning that had to do with their being girls changing into women.


What is missed by Jesus talking about “signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars” is the timing involved. The “signs” are basically the months of the year, based on what astrological “sign” the “sun” is in. Likewise, each month brings the cyclic changes seen in the “moon.” Over eons of time, the earth’s wobble causes precession, where the placement of the stars that are the backdrop creating the placement of the signs slowly move.


That is like Yahweh saying through Jeremiah, “the days are coming” … in time.


Jesus then ended this ‘gym talk’ by saying, “when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” That is like David singing, “enter into Yahweh and let him take your soul.”


To “stand up” means to “arise” and awaken to eternal life. To “raise your heads” means to elevate your awareness from conscious thought to divine insight. For one to be nearing “redemption,” one still has to take the proper steps towards that goal.


This speech by Jesus came on Mount Olivet, after Jesus had told his disciples every stone in the beautiful Temple of Jerusalem – Herod’s Temple – would be overturned. We read of that two weeks back. The theme then was the End Times; but now we see the end and the beginning are really the same time.


Jesus then tried to clear up the confusion, by making the comparison to a fig tree. The element of it sprouting leaves and knowing summer is near connects the dots to the part about the timing relative to signs of the sun and the lunar fluctuations in the seasons. Fig trees go through seasonal changes.


When one sees leaves come out on a fig tree, it is like seeing thirteen-year old children beginning to sprout things relative to reproductivity.


The comparison is then not of figs, but metaphor for the “kingdom of God.” This too is Jesus saying, “the days are coming.”


This is when one becomes like David and sings praise to Yahweh, saying, “let my soul enter into you and become your kingdom, so my soul is uplifted by your presence.”


It is one’s soul, which animates one’s body of flesh, that must hear the call to become a kingdom where God lives. When one’s soul-body becomes that kingdom, then one become pregnant with His Son. Advent is that time Jesus spoke of.


When we hear Jesus say, “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap,” listen to the warnings that gym teacher would give to young girls. An unwanted pregnancy becomes a trap.


Still, girls are made the way they are made by Yahweh, so they can produce babies. They have wombs for that “purpose.”


That is why souls in bodies of flesh are feminine, bridesmaids engaged to marry Yahweh. Being in the flesh is only temporary, until that flesh must die. The soul must either willingly become pregnant with Yahweh’s Son, or reject that marriage and become trapped in the physical realm … through reincarnation.


When Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away,” hear “heaven and earth as soul and body.” The death of the body will not make the warning of Jesus go away, because the soul is eternal. Only the body dies; but the soul either is recycled like the seasons, or it is redeemed and given salvation through eternal life free of the material realm’s trap.


Jesus said, “it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth,” which is like David singing, “let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me. Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.”


There are two ways to go.


This is where it is good to remember that sitting on the hillside as Jesus spoke was Judas Iscariot. He had some treacherous schemes going on. He was living for self, not Yahweh.


Yahweh wants your prayers “to escape” the trap of lures in the material realm. Jesus wants to lead your soul to salvation, like his name means. It requires “strength to stand up.” One needs to stand before Yahweh as His Son.


When that time comes, one has truly become Yahweh’s righteousness, His Beloved.


I will end now and allow you to ponder the onset of a new ecclesiastical season, in a new ecclesiastical year.


Each of our souls are called to marry Yahweh and bear His Son Jesus back into the world. Advent is the pregnancy that leads to the birth of Jesus.


Jesus was not born in the dead of winter, where the season is metaphor for death.


Christmas is when a soul in the flesh dies of self and is reborn as the Son of man.


Ponder these readings as the purpose and pray to be led to that personal experience.


The bus will be coming soon. I look forward to meeting again next Sunday. Until then, take care.


Amen

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