December 1

Matthew 24:42-44

“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” vs. 44

Today we start the season of Advent. Some will be lighting the first candle on their wreath; children are perhaps opening the first surprise on an Advent calendar. Our text is from a section of Matthew’s gospel dealing with the last days. We are being warned, it seems, to be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. Altogether it seems a scary proposition, as though the Son of Man is an unwanted intruder, an unwelcome visitor like a thief or a robber. But maybe that’s not the way it is. After all the Son of Man is a mysterious, messianic figure having roots in the apocalyptic scenes of Daniel. And when he comes perhaps we’ll be more surprised than frightened. We do believe that the Christ continues to come in the course of daily living but sometimes we’re so caught up in the ordinary that we miss the signs of his presence. The glare of holiday lighting seems to blind us to his coming. But maybe this Advent it’ll be different–maybe this year we can look for those daily joy-filled surprises and be ready to smile and sing praises. We’ll have to be alert though, the Christ is sneaky and shows up in disguise in some pretty surprising places. Jesus just says it’ll be unexpected, but if we’re ready, we’re bound to see him. It might even be at Costco!

Thought for the Day: When have I been surprised by joy?

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