As Christians we are to be the beacon of hope to the world.
That is the gift that we as Christians give during this season of Advent and Christmas
In order to be the beacon of hope we need to fill in the low places of our lives - to receive the Love of God and then to radiate it into the world.
Lighthouse / Battleship joke
The Christian is the lighthouse
The world is the Battleship
Realize the truth of who we witness to the world.
US Ship: Please divert your course 5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
CND reply: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
US Ship: This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.
CND reply: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course!
US Ship: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CORAL SEA*, WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!
CND reply: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
This is a time of darkness.
God is calling us to reform / repent
To fill in the valleys, to remove the hills, to straighten the roads between our hearts and God's heart.
God is calling us to change our lives because the mystery of Christ is becoming present to us.
This is a time of Darkness. In the past week there have been multiple mass-shootings. This is a time of desperation. The world is lost - it has no hope, no vision, no idea of what God is calling us to. We have no context in which to make sense.
How is the world in Darkness?
- We don't understand that we are loved
- We don't understand that God has a purpose for each and every one of us.
- We don't know that God desires to have relationship with us throughout the course of our life - to prepare us for life with one another.
Are we as Christian's in Darkness?
Often times we as Christians act like the Battleship. We are set in our ways, on our course, and we don't really understand what we are approaching. It is Sin that blinds us, fills us with a false sense of confidence (pride) that causes us to charge on ahead
The Church is the lighthouse - we are the ones who are called to show the way to the world. We are the ones to shine the hope of God's love into the world.
What is your gift to the world this Christmas?
- To be a man or a woman of hope?
- To be a witness of God's love
- To know that God has created us to be loved.
- To know that God is calling us to relationship.
Once this becomes the lens through which we look at our lives, then we are open to receiving the love of God
Three items about this joke that relate to the readings today:
The world is in darkness -
- We have experienced a tremendous amount of violence, death, and despair in our life.
- People in the world don't know where we are going.
People often behave like the Battleship.
We think we know where we are going and what is what. This is where the message of John the Baptist comes in.
The message of John the Baptist is the Lighthouse.
John's message - his mission is to prepare us for a deep, intimate, caring relationship with Christ. In order to do this we need to become aware of the obstacles that we have placed between God and ourselves.
Our vocation is to be a lighthouse of faith for the world. The Churches vocation is to share light to the world. This is the gift that the Church - that you and I are giving to the world this Christmas.