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DAVID'S REFLECTIONS AND INSPIRATIONS
December 1, 2013Will you be ready when Jesus comes again? This is the question asked in an old gospel song. Today we look at the first readings of the Advent Season. We here from the prophet Isaiah 2:1-1 that the day will come when the Lord will cause the people to beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.
Sounds to be as if the day will come when the Lord will insist that there be peace on Earth. The coming of the Lord is about blessing us with peace. Another song declares, "I'm going to lay down my sword and shield down by the river side, I ain't gonna study war no more!" What a glorious day when we become all peace makers and inherit the Earth that He may come again.. Be ready.
Psalm 122 reminds us today that part of our redemption is to go to the house of God. We are called toward Jerusalem. We are called to a place of new peace. We are called to seek prosperity for those whom we love and love us, and we are called to love all as brothers and sisters. We are called to pray for peace. We are called to be peace makers. We are called to have peace within us and all about us. We are called to seek the goodness that is our Lord and God. Blessed be the peace makers who will inherit the Earth.
Romans 13: 11-14 speaks to us about how close salvation maybe. This is interesting to consider, considering that we are told in the Gospel of Matthew today that the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. As we cannot know when he will come and yet we need to be aware that that unknown time is near..Will you be ready? Will you be awake? Will you be ready to light the way like the five wise maidens waiting at the door of the feast? Will you be ready to show that you have been a maker of peace? Will you be ready to show that you have loved your neighbor? Will you be ready to show that you placed things spiritual above things material? Will you be ready to answer the question when did I feed you, when I did I quench your thirst? When did I visit you, comfort you, lay hands on you and anoint you? When did i offer your light and seek your light to share it with the world. Will I be ready when Jesus comes again? I want to be ready when Jesus comes again!
In Matthew's Gospel (24:36-44) Jesus will remind us that only the Father knows when the coming of the Son of Man will be. He reminds us that not everyone will be ready, not all will be saved. He exhorts us all to be ready. To keep the light on. Don't be taken by surprise. Don't be taken unaware. Be ready.
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths."
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!
I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go to the house of God!"
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of God,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of God.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May they prosper who love you.
"Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers."
For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, "Peace be within you."
For the sake of the house of the Sovereign our God,
I will seek your good.
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
" But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."
Some additional quotes for reflection on today's readings:
Jo Hudson, Gathering Pastor of Extravagance UCC, 21st century:
" There is a world of hurt out there that needs the word of hope in here."
Martin Luther King, Jr., 20th century
" The only normalcy that we will settle for is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all God’s children."
Fred Rogers, 20th century
" When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed."
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985-1995
" Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?"
John Lennon, 20th century
" All we are saying, is give peace a chance."