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For the first Sunday of Advent, the readings are Isaiah 2:1-5, Romans 13:8-14, and Matthew 24:29-44, and one over-riding theme is that we need to be ready for the end of the age, when Christ returns. Jesus makes it clear to His followers that He is returning, and His return will be sudden and unexpected, like the great flood in the days of Noah. We’ll be about our normal, everyday lives, and two will be in the field – one will be taken up to heaven and one left behind; two will be at the mill grinding and one will be taken and the other left behind. He went on to say (Matthew 25:31-46) that on His return, humanity will be gathered before Him and will be separated into two groups, the sheep (His followers) who will be taken up to Eternal Life, and the goats (those who did not follow Him) who will go to eternal punishment. So, He says, be ready! In other words, His second coming will be a day of divine judgment, and it will be like the time of the flood – we will either be on board the ark (saved from destruction) or not on the ark (damned). There won’t be a third group – the undecided, those sitting on the fence, those needing more time to think about it. As C.S. Lewis wrote, it won’t be the time for making a choice – it will be the time when the choice we’ve already made will be revealed (my paraphrase). So – the question for Sunday will be: how do we prepare for His return? Are we prepared?
With much love and many prayers,