Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the First Week of Advent: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 20 and 21:1-7; Evening, Psalms 110:1-5, and 116, and 117;
Isaiah 4:2 to 6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to 18; Luke 21:5 to 19
“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.” (1st Thessalonians 4: 14)
I’m believing it is our Lord Jesus through whom God will bring us to the realm of God. Jesus, after all, is God’s way of being with us – Emanuel. It was, and is, a holy time.
From Education for Ministry (EfM), a couple of years ago, we read “Sabbath,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel. The opening words makes us aware that time, and the holy events that take place within time, is more sacred and important than things or places.
Paul writes from a perspective of immediacy. He believes the Lord’s return will occur within a matter of days. Over time, with the return of the Lord not happening, we who are still waiting, become complacent. However, we must remember that God does not care about time as we understand it. God is outside of time. We can’t comprehend this concept. Therefore, we must rely on our faith, our trust in God’s love for us.
We must endure in our faith regardless of the hour, or day, or month, or year. If we don’t leave our children anything else, we must leave them with the message that the Creator of the universe will return and judgment will take place. Also our children must be taught that death will not be an escape from judgment. All will rise. It will be like when a judge enters a court room, “All Rise.”
Perhaps complacency should be the most dreaded of attitudes. I battle complacency by having a habit of regular prayer and study; by meditation and communal worship. I am trying very hard to not be caught off guard or surprised “when”, not if, the Day of the Lord comes. I encourage all people of faith to also not be surprised when it happens, and not only that, even if we die before the Lord comes in a cosmic way, we need to pass on to those who come after us, that such a day will come. It really makes no difference where you are on this planet or in space. Things and places are not as important as preparedness. The event itself is the most important thing. We must remain vigilant. Let us ponder this today, the Lord’s Sabbath, gifted to us for rest and reflection.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Iran and China.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John