"No one knows...two will be in the field and one will be left....two grinding meal...one will be taken and one will be left." (Matthew 24:36, 40-41)
This Sunday is the first Sunday of the season of Advent. It is actually the first Sunday of a new church year! One might think it would be a time of great celebration, much like New Year's Eve/Day.
When you read the Gospel for this coming Sunday, it sounds pretty terrible. No one knows when "the time when the Lord is coming." It can appear to paint a scary scenario of how unprepared we might be when He does choose to return (to do what, Matthew doesn't say).
These words are not written to frighten you or me. God doesn't work that way. If He had wanted to scare us He would have done some other pretty scary things to get our attention. There's many who would say that God is sending us messages everyday about the doom of our world. Who is to say who is right?
We are here on this earth to be the caretakers of this planet (that's what it means to "have dominion" over the earth as it is written in Genesis 2:28. It means to be good stewards of it all) as well as compassionate partners with all of our neighbors (see Mark 12:31). This comes from a simple foundation of love and respect for God of the heavens and earth.
If we could follow this three-fold plan (God-neighbor-self), the world would be a better place, AND, we wouldn't have to worry about being in a field with another and then all of the sudden we are left behind (what a terrible image).
If we would take time to prepare ourselves for each day, by loving God by loving our neighbor, then, what comes will come, and, it will okay.
It's not rocket science and it is not some dark and foreboding secret that God has to "keep us in line." Again, God doesn't work that way.
Pray. Love. Care. Do these things and you will live...
...now and forevermore.
Remember - God loves you and so do we!
Update On Ashley
Ashley has done well this week. She is getting stronger by the day. We all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday together and will celebrate our grandson's (Lennon) third birthday on Sunday. We are decorating for CHRISTmas and have actually done a little shopping along the way too!
We have about two weeks to go and then we will be coming home! Your patience, prayers, love, and care for all of us has made a world of difference! God's peace be with you at the beginning of the Advent time.
Again, we thank you so much!
Pastor Jim and Mary Alice