December 3, 2018

Matthew 24:36-44

According to the three year Lectionary reading cycle, the first Sunday of advent is devoted to passages dealing with the second coming of Christ and a study of “last things.” This section of the chapter deals with responding to the disciples questioning Jesus concerning “the sign of his coming and the end of the age.” We are reminded of those even in Noah’s days and the flood not living faithful lives.

We are reminded, in anticipation of His return, that imposters claiming to be the Messiah would tempt followers to stray....that they (and we) must remain focused on living faithful lives not knowing the day or the hour of Christ’s return.

Apocalyptic passages (study of last things) sometimes frightens people, but as religious writer Arlen Hultgren points out in his comments concerning this passage, the message of Jesus’ return is not meant to frighten, but to give us hope!

This same hope is true of that first coming too is it not? There was anticipation…they didn’t know when the Messiah would come, but they longed for the coming of the Savior! This passage reminds us that throughout history, folks go about living their daily lives, some anticipating and some not in preparation for the blessings of the coming of God’s begotten. Blessings which are surely ours as followers if we focus to live out our baptism in being the people we want and Jesus wants us to be.

- Lester McNatt