Sunday, November 30, 2014

Living at Twilight

Sermon preached at Our Lady of Walsingham and St Francis on Advent Sunday 2014

Are you a morning person or a night person? Do you prefer looking at evenings or sunsets?

Both can be spectacular. In both cases, the Sun is on the Horizon, preventing the sky from being the beautiful clear bright blue of the day and from being the deep rich violet of the night. Would you be able to tell the difference?

Sunsets are still warm from the business of the day. There is a richness and a tiredness that comes from a busy world of work and activity and things are settling down to sleep. The Sunrise has the cool of the night still about it which cause the sleepy to want to curl up tighter until the light really begins to penetrate the darkness.

So where are we now? Are we at Sunrise or Sunset?


For many Christians, it feels like Sunset. How many of us are tired by having to battle what’s going on in the world? How many of us are weary from trying to do what is right but finding ourselves frustrated by the way things are? There is a lot of injustice in the world, lots of unfairness, and still too many atrocities that humanity could have grown out of by now. We can easily look at the darkness in the world and see so much that makes our hearts sink, and we can think that night is drawing on; we can think that we are moving into darkness.

But are we really moving into darkness?


St Paul would say not. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

More importantly, Our Lord would say not.

Here we are at Advent Sunday remembering Palm Sunday: Jesus the King riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. The thing is that appearances are so deceptive. Jesus doesn’t look like a king. The whole procession looks a bit ramshackle and without the splendour of true kingship. The entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem looks like an ordinary man riding into the city. Why celebrate that?

The fact is that people turn their perspectives around to see the light of Christ which breaks through the ordinariness of His Humanity and they recognise someone Who is able to do something about their lives.

Sunrise and sunset can look too similar, so we have to look for their differences.

Are we sliding into darkness? In terms of the world, yes, but in terms of God, no. Light has dawned on humanity and continues to do so. While we accept the world’s terms, we will find only darkness as it slips away from the light. If we turn to Christ then we have the bright shining Sun of Righteousness burning deep within our hearts. While the world has its atrocities, the Church has salvation by which the victims of atrocity can be caught up and away into life and joy and peace away from the corruption of the world. In God atrocities and pain can be rectified. Without Him, they cannot but will only return to the darkness from where they came. Our hope for Salvation comes only from God.

We may think that we are moving into darkness, but is that because we have our back to the dawn?

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