Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
With the start of Advent, on the Sunday after St. Andrew’s Day (11/30), we begin a new liturgical year. For the next twelve moths we will walk through biblical accounts of the coming of the Christ, his revelation to this world, the world’s rejection of him, his death and resurrection, his ascension into heaven, and the life of his people in this world. Then, in a year, we start all over again. There’s a stability that we can find in such a church calendar. Not only have countless people used these resources in the past, but to this day many millions of people use the calendar as a framework for their lives. So I want to take this opportunity to welcome my readers to join with me in our walk through the life of Christ. My afternoon posts normally follow the three year ectionary as tweaked by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, but I do them early. For instance, today I have posted some notes about the Gospel for this coming Sunday, December 2, rather than last Sunday.
What’s happening in our Gospel reading? We have jumped into Luke’s Gospel at chapter 21, starting at verse 25. Jesus is speaking about the time when he will come in glory to gather his people and bring judgment on the world. Verse 28 says this is a time when his people will find redemption delivered to them. They are not to fear. For those who have not believed Jesus, it will be a time of fear. They will know they are unable to stand in God’s judgment.
How are we to know the coming of Christ is near? Jesus has spoken of signs of his coming, but most of them seem pretty commonplace. By doing this, he is establishing the idea that he can and will come for his people and we are to be on alert. Just as the person waiting to board a bus or train needs to watch for the right time, we also wait for his return. If not, if we are dulled, as in verse 34, we will not be ready for his arrival.
In our alertness, in verse 36, we are told to pray for strength. The world is a troublesome place, full of wars, diseases, disappointments, and distractions. We should not be called away from our vigilance, but sould pray the Lord would make us expect him even in this time of trouble.
When he comes, I pray all my readers will be waiting eagerly, knowing that Jesus is the one who has redeemed them from sin.
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