by Kenneth C. Kroohs

Kenneth C. Kroohs
Isaiah 64:1-9a; Psalm 80:1-7; I Corinthians 1:1-9; Matthew 13:24-37
November 28, 1999

Happy New Year ... new church year ... happy Advent. Today we begin a new church year and a new church season ... probably the least understood of all our church seasons. Advent is a time of preparation ... a time to reflect on what our world - our life would be like without God .. without Jesus ... a time of waiting. NOT, as you all know, the preparation of buying presents or the waiting for Santa Claus! ... Advent is a time for us to focus our attention on God in a specific way.

The church seasons were established for just that reason .. to help us focus. Many of our Christian brothers and sisters do not recognize or use the church seasons. Some totally misunderstand the intention. The easiest explanation for me is that in school we have a period during which we focus on English .. and another during which we focus on algebra, and then another on biology. We are not excluding the other subjects during those periods. We may even use the algebra within a biology experiment, or the English to write the History report. So it all links together, but as human beings we need to focus on one subject at a time. That is the purpose of the church seasons: to encourage us to focus on a given aspect of Christianity for a while, and then move on to another aspect.

Obviously Advent is an especially challenging time to focus on Christian thoughts!! Reminds me of the year I had a window seat in English class at the end of the day. During the fall and spring the cheerleaders would be practicing outside my window while I was supposed to focus on Shakespeare!!! Difficult challenge.

With all the worldly distractions, it might help to narrow our focus. I suggest you use this season to focus on God's appearance on earth, but do so in a somewhat different way ... actually hide somewhere for a little while each ...

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