Saturday, December 1, 2012

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36: Stay Awake! The Kingdom of God is at hand

 Jesus said to his disciples:
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man."

This passage is often read in the first week of Advent. Its placement in the Advent readings is appropriate because Advent and Lent mirror each other. The former celebrates the incarnation of the Messiah and the latter celebrates the resurrection, and full realization, of the Messiah.  In this passage, the reader is reminded to stay awake and not fall into the trap of complacency. So often in our spiritual lives we forget and get lazy. This passage is a stark reminder to always be ready for the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is a reminder that the Kingdom of God is here but we also wait for its full fruition.

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