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Sunday Message 28th November 2010 First Sunday of Advent
Saturday, November 27th 2010

THE WORD
Stay awake                               Mt 24:37-44
In today’s Gospel Jesus makes comparisons. He compares the people of his day with those of Noah’s, who were punished for their wickedness. The people of Jesus’ time are not particularly wicked. But they are heedless and unthinking. They get on with life. They eat, drink, get married. That’s al lvery fine. But the problem is they don’t think about their relationships with God or one another. Because of their ignorance they will not be ready for God’s coming judgement.
Jesus tells a parable about a householder and a thief. It is not the householder’s immoral life that causes his downfall. It is his carelessness. God’s judgement comes like a thief  for those who are not prepared for it.
Be on the lookout! That’s the message on this First Sunday of Advent. Things are changing. Property, possessions, power will all pass away. Even health and life do not last forever. Only our relationships with God and one another are eternal.
The season of Advent offers us an opportunity to stand back from our regular routine of  life to reflect on our relationship with God and with each other. It is a time to be more conscious of Christ’s prescence, so that when he does come he will find us ready and waiting.

SAY
“Come, Lord Jesus.”

LEARN
*Advent marks the begining of the Church’s new year
*The season of Advent is a time of preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas.
*It also prepares us for the second coming of Christ at the end of time.
*The Christian is always ready for the coming of the Lord.

DO
*Make some extra time for prayer each day during the season of Advent
*Talk to your children or grandchildren (or a young relative) about the meaning of Advent
*Make an advent wreath

PRAY
Ask the Lord to help you live in such a way that you will be always  ready for his coming

REFLECT
Today is a good time to renew our commitment to regular prayer. There is a kind of prayer that is particularly appropriate to the Advent season.
It is a way of praying that encourages us to be still, to wait on the coming of the Lord in calm and peace. It can be a powerful antidote to the pressures and frustrations we often face at this time of year.
The outward form of this prayer is simplicity itself. All it requires is that we find a place where we can be undisturbed, and that we sit in a comfortable but upright posture. Then, during the whole of our prayer, we simply say a single word or short phrase to ourselves over and over again. The word or phrase is sometimes called a “mantra”. Its purpose is to help us focus our minds. It aids concentration and helps us to keep our minds free from their usual clutter of thoughts and concerns. In that way we can turn ourselves wholly to God, being ware of his prescence at the heart of our very being.
Advent provides us with words that could also form the basis for our prayer throughout the year. It is the phrase, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Simply say this phrase to yourself over and over again during the time you have set aside for prayer. Say it gently and calmly, without any strain. Relax into the words. If you find your mind wandering, or if you find you are getting bored, simply return to the words, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

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