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Sleep Is An Opinion!

So stay awake... if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep (Mark 13:35,36) First Sunday of Advent

Do you remember the fairy tale, "Sleeping Beauty"?

There is to be a royal wedding. The wicked witch is not invited. Angry over the snub, she puts a curse on the bride and groom (a prince and princess). According to the curse, they will have a daughter, and when she reaches age eighteen, she will prick her finger on a weaving spindle and she will die. The prince and princess manage to have the curse modified. Their daughter will not die when she pricks her finger on a weaving spindle. Instead, she will fall into a deep sleep for one-hundred years, or until she is brought back to life by the kiss of a handsome young prince. As a precaution, all weaving spindles are banned from the kingdom.

Well, the child is born, and on her eighteenth birthday she decides to explore all the far corners of the castle. The tour takes her to a remote tower where an old woman is spinning and weaving. The girl asks the old woman if she can try it. Whereupon, she pricks her finger on the spindle and falls into a deep sleep.

Many years pass, during which time the castle becomes run down and is eventually abandoned. Only "Sleeping Beauty" remains. Then it happens! A handsome young prince stumbles upon the old castle and discovers her. Captivated by her beautiful countenance, he kisses her and, lo and behold, she awakens! And the two go forth to live happily ever after.

One preacher has observed that the story of "Sleeping Beauty" has a lot in common with many real-life stories that go something like this:

...People reach early adulthood.

...They have everything going for them.

...But, as though on cue, they grab onto something called "conformity" and it "puts them to sleep," so to speak.

If we will only stay awake to the presence of Jesus in our lives, the fear and anxiety and discontent will give way to peace and joy and wholeness of life. This is exactly what happens as we receive God's Power and Love through Jesus Christ.

In today's Gospel, as we enter into the Advent Season, [...]

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 Sleep Is An Opinion!
Nov 30, 2014
First Sunday of Advent
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  Scripture : Mark 13:35,36
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  Scripture : Luke 1:38
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Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).

Stress

One man was suffering his little daily deaths in the form of job stress and tension. Finally, after he had been overworked to the point of near total exhaustion, he began to pray. He said that almost immediately he received a clear insight into what he had to do. He had to resign as manager of the universe. And God accepted his resignation. Some of us are trying to be manager of the universe. We want to manage the lives of the members of our families. We want to run things down at the Church our way. “And why doesn’t the President do this or that. And when will all the people in government learn to do things my way.” There is a kind of dying involved when we give some of that up, and learn how to trust God to manage the universe.

Prayer

Worship is the submission of the whole being to the object of worship. It is to declare the need to be fulfilled by God, It is to declare the desire to be under the control of God, It is to feed the mind with the Truth of God, It is to inspire the imagination with the Beauty of God, It is to open the heart to the Love of God, It is to devote the will to the Purpose of God.

Song

There’s a song inside of me And I can hardly wait to see What it is I have to say, Or the music I will play. It has been so long in coming. First the thought, and then some humming, But before I find my key, Something stifles it in me. What keeps my song from being sung— Past hurts, deep fears, a timid tongue? But it’s tired of being repressed. It now demands to be expressed. What a shame to keep a song Cramped in silence, Oh so long. Release your song said the Spirit to me. You’ll never be till your song is free. Don’t debate, get ready to sing! Your song could die like a stillborn thing. Struck by the peril of further delay My song like a flood came forcing its way. Up from within and down from above, A kingdom built on the power of love. Thank God my song has been set free. The rhythm and words are right for me. I’m finally ready to sing out strong. My soul is saying, “This is my song!” Forbes, Dr. J., “Beecher Lectures” at Yale Divinity School (adapted).

Acceptance, Love, Weeds

“When the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also” (Matthew 13:26). A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to get rid of them. Still they plagued him. Finally, he wrote the Department of Agriculture. He listed all the things he had tried to get rid of the dandelions, then asked, “What shall I do next?” In due course, the Department of Agriculture’s reply came: “We suggest you learn to love them.” de Mello, A., “The Song of the Bird,” Image Book (adapted).

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