Likewise, we are not called to be Christians in the privacy of our own home or house of worship. Following Christ requires being in the world, but not of the world. Being a disciple of Jesus means acknowledging the pain and brokenness in our lives and imagining our way into healing and hope.


We know that here, in the midst of the difficult lessons and obscurity, there is meaning and value. Jesus’ teachings offer us truth that is loving, liberating, and life-giving. This sort of truth, the words of eternal life, while powerful is not simple or easy. If it was, well, we wouldn’t need to be here.


We don’t have to be all things to all people. You don’t have to try to be the foot and the hand and the eye and the ear all of the time. We all have God given gifts. Sometimes we are called to be the eyes to notice where the world around us needs healing. Sometimes we are the feet and are called to go to where our gifts can be put to use. Sometimes we are a listening ear or a helping hand or a mouth speaking the truth in love. Yet, this is always true: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” You will always be the body, so go forth and live in love.


Sometimes we are the cause of our own joy or pain, and sometimes we are not. If we follow Jesus’ ways, study his teachings, look to Jesus as the perfecter of our faith – we will come to understand that our pain and sorrow should not cause us to lose heart or grow weary. God took on human form as Jesus. In doing so God shows us that God knows what it is like to feel joy and happiness and also pain and sorrow.


In our Gospel this morning it is like Jesus already knows what our answer might be to the question, “What is a kingdom like?” His parable responds to the prompt. Jesus tells us, God’s kingdom cannot be bound by what we deem a kingdom on earth.


Our work is to meet each other, to be in relationship with each other, to listen to each other. What can we do in our own lives to truly see each other? To see where each other are hungry? To see where each other are hurting? To see where each other needs help? To see each other as being of equal worth to our self?  To see each other in our full humanity?


During this Advent, as you prepare your homes and trees and gifts and cookies, also prepare your hearts. Make yourself ready. Jesus is going to be born. Keep awake because Jesus is going to change our lives and our world again.