Sunday: Nov. 30
“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
from Rev. Dr. William B. Allen
Regional Minister Emeritus
This passage is part of Jesus’ response to Peter, James, John and Andrew who – after he had predicted the destruction of the temple – had asked him, “[W]hen will this be and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” We are dealing with the end times or the culmination of history as we know it.
These kinds of passages (often called apocalyptic) raise lots of questions and rarely provide satisfactory answers, although they do give rise to lots of discussion – sometimes valuable, sometimes not. What we want to do is glean the core message and not get waylaid by things that leave us puzzled.
The core message here is to stay alert to things that are going on around us. Jesus says, “Beware, keep alert…” “Keep awake.” We want to stay tuned in to the people around us, the events that are happening, and the discoveries that are being made, for the Holy Spirit is in these. We live in an exciting time, bursting with God’s activity. Let’s not miss it just because we have prejudices, and fears. The Advent message calls us to live in confidence and love.
God of love and power, open our hearts and minds to behold your vibrant presence
around us and within us as we await the birth of your Christ
in all its glory and mystery.
Give us faith to step forth into your future. Amen.
As you have been blessed by the gift of God in the coming of Christ at Advent, please consider how your giving for the Christmas Offering to support Regional Ministry may bless the whole Church and world. You may give through your local Disciples congregation, or at www.wvdisciples.org/support. Congregations of the WV Region’s congregations whose members give online will still receive credit for the gift for Yearbook outreach reporting.