Advent 1

First Sunday in Advent, December 2 2012

Matthew 24:36-44

To set the scene in Matthew : Jesus has been talking about a time of trouble to come. He warns that many are going to die, and that there will be many false prophets and messiahs. He tells us to look for the buds that bring forth the new leaves of the new world.

Now he tells us something even more ominous : noone knows when it will come, not even Jesus. Everyone will be busy living life in the same way they always have, completely careless about the things that matter most to God. (Sounds familiar? Like today?) Then, “as lightning” (v.27), the Lord returns, bringing with Him the kingdom of God. That’s not a problem for those who are busy doing God’s work on earth; they’re already living out the Kingdom. They have the hope in their hearts; they want what’s coming. But what if that’s not you? What if you’re unprepared? What if you’re caught partying when you should be serving? What if you’ve been foolish with the gifts God has given you, wasting it out of laziness, or worse, hoarding it because you’re afraid to use it up?

Don’t wait for the Kingdom to come before you start living for it. Part of it is already here, wherever faith in Christ is lived out. The Kingdom life was meant to start here on earth, in this life, in this world, among these people around you. Live it because of your love of God, and you will be ready when he returns — don’t sweat the rest, because it’s in good hands.

Father, may your Kingdom come. May your will be done now on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Bob Longman

A challenge : Imagine that you somehow found out that Christ was returning sometime next year. What would be the first thing you would do?


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