Giving Hope to All
Sermon for Sunday Dec. 3, 2017,
Observance of the first Sunday of Advent and World Aids Day
Scriptures: Isaiah 60:19-22 & Matthew 22:34-39
Text: Matthew 22:39
Theme: Giving Hope to All
The World Health Organization established the observance of World AIDS Day in 1988 to help government and non-profit organizations increase awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is observed annually on December 1. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are 33.2 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. In the United States, approximately 38% of the AIDS deaths are among African Americans.
In recent years, African American church leaders have made a more concerted effort to educate their congregations on the impact of HIV/AIDS in the African American community. These efforts involve addressing the general silence within many churches about HIV/AIDS, its transmission, and matters of sex and sexuality more broadly.
Advent marks the season on the Christian calendar for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent, which means “coming” or “arrival,” is a time of hope and anticipation. As Christian churches celebrate the hope embodied in the birth of Jesus Christ, they simultaneously anticipate his return to reconcile the world to God. This dual celebration of past and future reminds us that Christ has already come as our hope of salvation, that he is among us in the world today as our source of comfort and strength, and that he will come again to reign in victory with all power in his hands.
The union of World AIDS Day and the First Sunday of Advent is fitting because it enables clergy leaders to relate the hope of God in Christ to the experience of those living with HIV/AIDS. Observing Advent and World AIDS Day at the same time provides a perfect opportunity for the church to show the depths of God’s love and the breadth of God’s saving grace for all of God’s children.
May God Bless you and your family and we pray that you will come and share in one of our services.