Today's Lectionary Text
"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "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."kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
My dad’s side of the family is comprised almost entirely of farmers. And when I was a kid, we would travel once a month to Cameron, Missouri, where my grandparents had a farm. My dad would help with things related to crops and cattle while I did whatever my grandmother instructed me to do.
One of the things my grandfather and dad paid attention to was the “Old Farmer’s Almanac.” It told them how wet certain times of year would be, when to plan on the first freeze of the year and other information to help them in their work. And that almanac was — and still is — amazingly accurate!
In a way, paying attention to that almanac was like paying attention to the signs of nature.
This passage from Mark 13 shares Jesus telling of signs people can watch for regarding the second coming. And if we were looking for signs, the past 22 months seemed to be providing some, haven’t they?
Jesus tells us that none of us will know exactly when the second coming will occur, but He also tells that we have one job until then: Stay alert!
It’s just one job, but it’s a big one. We are to be ready by living our best lives — loving God, proclaiming Christ, serving others (especially the poor) and seeking justice.
By doing so, we just might make more disciples — who in turn can be ready themselves.
— Todd Seifert, director of communications
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, we know we have no idea when your son, Jesus, will come again. So help us to be vigilant. Help us to live our best lives, keeping in mind what we have been taught so that we serve as good examples to others as we go about each of our days. Amen.
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