First Sunday of Advent: December 1 

Matthew 24:36-44

“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.

            “Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.

            “ Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

 

from W. Darwin Collins, Great Lakes Zone Vice President,

Christian Church Foundation

            This passage is included in an extended lecture that Jesus directs to the crowd, but most especially to his disciples. All of the lessons in Matthew 23-25 are hard for us to hear, and surely must have perplexed those first listeners. He ends these teachings with his prediction of his own crucifixion. I suppose we might understand these today as Jesus attempt of practicing tough love, preparing those he loved to be ready for what was to come.       

            In this particular passage Jesus is warning that those who would follow after him must not let down, but persevere in doing good, in living the ministry. Practicing Jesus’ teachings of love and compassion are a full time job, 24-7-365! Advent may be a season of watching and waiting, but it is also a season to be busy sharing God’s love in Christ to all, especially those in greatest need. Indeed, the hour of the Son of Man’s return may be today (see Matthew 25:31-46)…so do something to show that you are ready!

For all the ways in which you come to us, O Christ,

help us to ready ourselves to receive you.
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