Pulpit Notes: What Advent Is All About

We were idling slowly back through Clearwater Bay.

Dusk had set in, and the lights from the homes and condos ashore created a stunning backdrop for our late evening cruise. My friend’s newly acquired lobster trawler (from Maine, no less) was in mint condition except for a red port light, which he was surprised to discover wasn’t working. Apparently, the sea air and salt had corroded the light and compromised the connection. Fortunately, he knew the channels well, but not the Coast Guard fast boats prepared to intercept any suspicious craft making its way ashore in the dark of night. My friend was more agitated than concerned; he didn’t like the thought of being stopped and cited for running light issues aboard his new, highly prized lobster trawler.

He handed me a small wrench and asked me to lean out and tap the casing of the port light, but it proved unsuccessful. As we pulled slowly into his slip, we could hear on the ship’s radio the chatter of various boats and apparently one Coast Guard cutter making its way through the bay. He grinned as he opened a bottle of wine, and we sat in deck chairs for a picnic dinner with our wives.

Later that evening, as I was reading before bed, I reflected upon the port light. How often it seemed to me that sea air — the atmospheric condition of life we might call sin — has a way of intruding into the casing of my soul, corroding my connection with family, with friends, with my own navigating principles of life, and even with God.

I often find myself looking, searching for a tool or anything that I might use to tap the casing of my soul. But it isn’t enough! Only the Captain — God, that is — can remove the corrosion, the sin, the defection, and replace the light necessary for safe navigation. Life as God desires it, life as I long for, life as it is intended to be lived can only be achieved by God’s intervention, God’s love: God’s redemption. This to me is what Advent is all about!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Reverend Dr. Conrad C. Sharps
Senior Pastor