Jeremiah 33:14-16
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of
Israel and the house of
Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days
Judah will be saved and
Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

God always fulfills His promises, even if it takes a while.  This text instructs us to be prepared for the coming of Christ because it is a promise of God that will not be denied. The anticipation of the Messiah requires preparation. The promise included the Messiah, “executing justice and righteousness”.    That means we must prepare our hearts, minds and lives to embrace righteousness and God’s justice or we will be left behind n God’s Kingdom. I do not believe that God wants any of His children to be left behind but when we are more fully committed and involved with the popular cultures attitudes and behaviors around Christmas we are positioning ourselves to be left behind.

When shopping becomes more important than prayer
We are in jeopardy of being left behind

When receiving gifts is more important than serving those who are in need
We are in jeopardy of being left behind When our Christmas feasts are more important than fasting
We are in jeopardy of being left behind

When our Christmas religious rituals distract us from noticing and caring for the lonely and forgotten neighbors in our community           
We are in jeopardy of being left behind.

Justice is our outreach to other people and righteousness is our reaching to God through Jesus Christ in our lives. Justice will be offered to those who are serving the least of these in God’s kingdom and not inwardly focused on themselves. Righteousness is our upreach to God. Our right standing with God is about our hearts seeking Him in Spirit and in truth.  It is more about our heart relationship with God than our worship rituals. Seeking not to be left behind

Rev. William T Chaney Jr
West Baltimore UMC