Advent 1C 12 step Eucharist End Times
The gospel on the first Sunday in Advent traditionally is about the end of times. Everything awful is happening. There is an eclipse of the sun, we cannot see the moon at night, shooting stars are plummeting to the earth, and earthquakes are erupting up into the sky all around us. Then Jesus comes with his angels and saves “the elect.” Pretty scary scene. Many of us may be thinking, I don’t know if I am really one of “the elect” that will survive all this.
The scene is about darkness, and disaster, and knowing what you know of your life has come to an end. Could Mark be writing about more than that second coming of Christ that the New Testament followers of Jesus expected any minute? This passage can also speak to us today, when disaster, and darkness are all around us. My experience is that this is when Jesus comes into our lives most profoundly. Only when we realize that we have no control over our lives, do we surrender and let God enter that door, that gate at which he has been knocking throughout time. Our only hope of leaving the darkness inside and around us is to open that gate. This is what happens in 12-step recovery. The life of the alcoholic or addict has become like a series of continuous erupting volcanoes. The addict and alcoholic live without the sun or moon. My experience is this is a time when a person is the most open to God coming into his life, and the answer out of the disaster is a surrender of will and life to that God.
And who are the elect? I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t seem like a member of the elect. I think this offer is open to everyone of us but most especially in times of darkness and disaster, whether we are living with an addiction, a financial crisis, or the physical illness or death of someone who means the world to us. Christ comes with his angels from the ends of the earth and the ends of the heaven to gather us up. He is at the gate. He is very near. He is very near.
Joanna Seibert December 2018
Jesus said, "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."