December 1, 2021
As Advent is here, we started our new sermon series, "Deck the Halls: Decorating Your Life with What Matters." In this season, as we prepare to celebrate the arrival of Jesus, we can prepare by decorating our lives with what matters: the hope, peace, joy, and love of God. Last Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, we shared hope.
Things happening in our lives and the world don't seem solvable. Natural disasters, political inequity, social injustice, and so on make us feel hopeless and sometimes useless. As we read Isaiah 9:2-7 last Sunday, we came to acknowledge the gospel's proclamation of the Good News. The text was written during the darkest times of the history of Israel when they were captivated by Babylon.
The text proclaims, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-on them light has shined." This text may seem naive and optimistic to some of us. But Isaiah is not merely optimistic because what Isaiah truly declares is that the pierce of the Spirit of God through the darkness would bring out hope through the reality which the people were facing.
During Exodus, another darkest time in Israel's history, Israelites faced the Red Sea. Moreover, they had the chariots of Pharaoh behind them. Through the mouth of Moses, God said to them, "Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still." (Exodus 14:13-14)
The hope which comes from God encourages us because we believe in the Good News of God: God will interrupt the darkness of our reality and lead us forward to bright light. And then, we will finally be the channel of the light in the dark, too. God sent Jesus into our lives to give us light. The same God invites us to follow Jesus and become the channel of the light in the world. Let us
Even though the reality we face is dark and hopeless, let us all lift our eyes and believe in God who interrupts our darkness. Then, we will all see the light of God's love shining upon our lives. And, eventually, we would be those who bring the light to our neighbors drowning in despair.
May the unfailing love of our God be with us all the time.
Pastor Woo.