Thursday, December 6, 2012
Giving attention to the Second Coming of Jesus at this particular time of the year has always seemed a bit odd to so many who find that their attention is becoming increasingly focused on Christmas. In fact, a part of our discomfort with the season of Advent has to do with the way it causes us to keep the celebration of Jesus' Bethlehem birth at a distance. We are ready for it now and not only does the early Advent theme keep us from going there, it puts into our view the discomforting Word about Jesus returning to the earth with power, glory, and accountability.
Matthew gives us some advice in what we know as Matthew 24:44 as it says, "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." Nothing about this Word is what we really want to hear as the secular culture starts cranking up its version of what is important for us to do in the next few weeks. According to what the culture around us is saying, getting ready is about doing. It is about spending. It is about decorating. It is about parties and social gatherings. It is about putting the pedal to the metal and not letting up until Christmas Day is past.
The Word of God as it is spoken through Matthew, the disciple, takes us down a different path. Getting ready is about the heart. It is about looking inward with eyes that are unafraid to see what truly drives our living. It is about making sure the precious God given days we have are not being wasted with frivilous and trivial pursuits. It is about living today as if it might be the one which brings us into the presence of the Almighty King of Kings. The kind of readiness called for by the Word is one which not only prepares us to celebrate the Christ-event known as the Incarnation, but also one which prepares us to live each day as if it were our last.