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Radical Faith

Men will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and glory
Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:4-5,8-9,10,14; I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-28,34-36

Sermon Week First Sunday of Advent Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 21:27

Do you position yourself as a conservative or a liberal, right-wing, or left-wing – Republican, Democrat, Independent? Or instead of identifying with a political label, do you prefer something like "moderate" or "middle-of-the-road."

Today, I want to suggest the position I believe Christians are obliged to take in this matter. And that is the position of a “radical conservative.” Does this sound confusing? Then listen carefully to the message of the Advent Season.

A true radical/conservative takes tradition seriously. It's as simple and as complicated as that. We all live with many rules. There are political traditions. There are ethnic traditions. This Church has a tradition. The company you work for probably has something it calls a culture or tradition. Your own family has a tradition.

The word "radical" is derived from the Latin "radix," which means "root." When tradition is threatened, the true radical digs deeply to get at the root of the problem. In 1789, in France, when the very soul of the nation was threatened by economic, political, and class turmoil, the King convened a council of advisers which was divided into three "estates": The Clergy, the Nobility and a group known as the "Third Estate" (the "Working Class"). The nobles sat in the position of honor, to the right of the presiding officer. The Third Estate sat on his left. The Third Estate wanted to get at the root of the problems that threatened the nation's very life and institute reforms necessary to preserve it. Because the Third Estate sat on the left, the term "left-wing" remains to this day as a political symbol. Today, the words "radical" and "conservative" are among the busiest in the language of politics -- but much abused and so often interpreted to mean different things to different people. Nevertheless, our Advent Message reminds us that we Christians are called to be conservatives and radicals in the truest sense of both words.

Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth, "I praise you because you always remember me and are holding fast to the traditions just as I handed [...]


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