Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service
November 30, 2017
This week’s Thursday’s Thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon Mark 13:24-37:
““But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”” (Mark 13:24–37, NIV)
As we live in this world with many others, it is usually a good idea to pay attention. For example, “looking,” as one moves from place to place, can help avoid tripping over someone else’s feet, and more serious accidents. A similar action implying an imperative is, “watch!” This word not only reminds us to avoid hurting others, but also welcomes greater planning and preparation in working together. If one wants to turn up the intensity from just “looking” to “watching,” I believe the best way to start is by yielding to a theological urgency, and find ways to cooperate through church in responding to the biblical call to be ready for Christ’s return.
Today’s scriptural passage describes this in detail, forming the basis of an elemental hope which motivates action …for one …and all, because the last sentence states: “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” From this we might glean that looking around in hope to find Christ as a personal encouraging presence, can take on something more. One might also perceive a greater vitality, arising from the example of Jesus in community life, where working together as a group cheers, inspires, reassures everyone.
Because we are all in this together, fruitfulness springing from hope which is connected to the expectation of Christ’s return, not only has to do with “…Me and Mine,” but also “…We and Thine.”
Rev. Richardf Wagner