Today's Lectionary Text
Mark 13:32-37“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.”
The week before Labor Day. Finally! I had been waiting. My friends had been waiting. It was finally time. We walked the mile to Wilson Junior High. As we approached, the anticipation grew. We neared. Yes, they were posted! The homeroom assignments were there. We could know who our homeroom teacher would be. More importantly, we would find out how many of us would be together in homeroom.
We had waited. Long ago the people of God had waited. They had waited for thousands of years. They waited and waited. They waited for the coming of the Son of Man, for Messiah. Would his coming not make everything OK?
In Mark 13, Jesus provides some clues about signs, precursors of that coming. In this passage he reminds the people that no one knows the exact time the Son of Man will come. We need to be ready.
Today we continue to wait. We wait for the Son of Man to come. Perhaps COVID, increased violence around us and throughout the world, focus on “me first” are all signs that the coming of Messiah is near. Maybe or maybe not. It does not matter; the command from Jesus stands, “Be ready”.
Advent is the beginning of a new year in the church. We still wait, as Advent starts this year. Advent is a time of waiting. We are continuing to wait, and it seems like Christmas Day is a long time away. Four whole weeks, plus some extra days, have to pass. Wait, wait, wait!
However, there are so many things to be done and to get ready before Christmas -- decorating, baking, buying gifts for the whole list, sending greetings, cleaning. The list is very long. Wait though. Instead of focusing on the list and getting more and more frenzied, wait. Take a deep breath, in and out. Wait. Focus on God’s presence. Take a moment to become quiet. Think about how this time of waiting can be used?
While you cook or bake focus on those who are hungry and pray for them. As you vacuum, dust and scrub, let your mind and heart lift up to God those with no home. Smile behind that mask as you shop and pass people. It will show in your eyes and spread some joy. A nod added in helps too. When you are getting groceries pick up some extra canned veggies or fruit, peanut butter, or cereal. Drop the items by Open Door. As you brush your teeth, think about how you might shave off a few extra dollars to send to GraceMed.
Many things can fill our waiting. Choose which ones you will do. As you perform your necessary tasks, focus on God and how the waiting just might be where you are called to serve and act and be ready this Advent.
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Prayer for Reflection
Holy One, fill our waiting with service for you. Help us to listen and be aware of your presence each day during this holy season. In the name of Him for whom we wait. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color