Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday November 28 Watch

However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.  When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into.You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. Matthew 24:36-44 NLT

Advent. A season rich with dichotomies. A season of already and not yet. A season our consumer culture calls us to rush through to arrive at Christmas  while our Christian culture calls us to slow down and look inward  preparing our hearts. A time of commemoration of the birth of Jesus and a time of anticipation of  His final return. A time to look back and a time to look forward. Even the word itself is defined as both coming and arrival. So which is it? It is both, and that is the tension of Advent. That is why Jesus tells His disciples, both then and now, to keep watch; for no one, not even Jesus Himself, knows when the Kingdom will come. That knowledge is for God the Father alone. What we are told though, is that not only has Jesus come as Immanuel, God with us, but he will return as the King of Kings and Lord of lords. If we want to be prepared, we are told in this passage precisely what to do: keep watch, for surely He will come when least expected. And just as surely,  we will want to be ready.

Gracious God, we are awed by You and the enormity of Your love for Your children such that You were willing to step out of heaven and become one of us, entering our world in the humblest of ways. Immanuel,  God with us in the person of Jesus. We give thanks for the reminder from scripture that only You know the day and the hour of His return, so we need to keep watch and be prepared. Help us to use these days of Advent as a time to draw closer to You. Remind us, we pray, that we get to participate even now in building Your kingdom here on earth, and motivate us to do just that. We ask in Jesus' name. AMEN

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