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He Comes Again

by | Dec 1, 2020

“But about that day or hour no one knows neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Mark 13:32

The lectionary reading for the first Sunday in Advent this year is Mark 13:24-37. The lectionary is a prescribed reading of texts that goes through a three-year cycle. For years, I preached from the lectionary. Sometimes, I still do. I confess that I never liked First Advent. We are trimming trees and decking the halls and we read scripture that talks about darkening skies and stars falling from heaven. Yet there it is – every year on First Advent – a text about the second coming. Why? I’m sure there are many scholarly explanations. My simple explanation is that we live in the in-between times. We live in between the time that Jesus first came to earth and the time when Jesus will come again. The Christian life is a life lived in tension between the now and not-yet, between the kingdom on earth and the kingdom of heaven. There is no time when this is clearer than in Advent. We begin with the reminder that Jesus will come again even as we prepare to celebrate that first coming. One year when our oldest daughter was close to three, she was very dismayed that we had to take the Christmas tree down. She loved the lights and the ornaments. She thought it was magical that a real tree could be inside the house. I gently explained to her that the real tree couldn’t stay because it would get dry and brown after a while. I promised her, however, that next Christmas we would have another tree and decorate it again. She stopped me in my tracks when her next question was, “Will Jesus be borned again, too?” Katie accepted my simple “Yes. Jesus will be born again, too,” with a simple nod of her head and shrug of her little shoulders. It gets more complicated as we get older. Maybe that’s because we start to overthink the whole concept. How will Jesus come again? Why will Jesus come again? What is all this business a+bout celebrating a birth in a stable in Bethlehem? Couldn’t God have come in a different way? How are we supposed to “prepare him room” or “keep awake”? A long eight months of a pandemic have exhausted most of us. Truth be told, we are more ready for a vaccine than we are ready for our Savior. Yet, I tell you, Jesus will be borned again. Of that, I’m sure. Because it does not depend on our efforts; it only depends on our faith. Listen to science concerning this pandemic. Listen to your hearts as you prepare for Christ to come for we know neither the day nor the hour, we only know he comes again. Pastor Judy
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