Invitation to Discipleship for November 30, 2014—First Sunday in Advent
Last week, I heard a sermon that proclaimed parables to not be moralistic stories of the way things should be, but rather a commentary on the way things actually are. The parable at the end of the passage from Mark is no exception. Jesus tells the story of a man leaving his home in the care of his servants. The servants don’t know when the man will return. They just need to continually keep things in order and be ready to greet him. When Jesus began his ministry, he proclaimed that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and he spent the rest of his life helping people to see and understand how God’s Kingdom differs from our earthly ways. There were signs of the new kingdom everywhere, and one day Jesus will return to end all evil, death, and destruction in the world. All things will be made new. So until that point, share the good news of God’s Kingdom and be ready for its culmination. But the disciples often struggled to understand Jesus’ message, and this readiness task wasn’t just difficult for Christians living 2000 years ago. In many ways, it’s more challenging for us today. The gospels offer many stories of people falling asleep on the job and Jesus urging his disciples to “Stay awake!” As Christians, our hope and joy come from the confidence that the brokenness of our current world will one day be redeemed.
Questions to Consider:
Do we stand ready, or have we fallen asleep on the job of proclaiming the Kingdom of God? Do we really think that Jesus will return at any time? Have we stopped looking for the way things could be and found comfort in the ways things currently are?