Now is the time to prepare for the Coming of the Messiah this Advent Season. Meet us here each day of Advent where we will be posting a blog written by members of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, representing an intergenerational sampling of contributors as they reflect on the scripture selections from the Daily Lectionary Advent readings from the Book of Common Worship. If you would like to download a copy of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem Advent Devotional, CLICK HERE.
LECTIONARY READING: Zechariah 2:1–13; Revelation 3:14–22; Matthew 24:32–44
Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 that there are events coming that we cannot imagine. When the Son of Man (Christ) returns, people will be going about their daily tasks, driving to work, getting married, and having children. Jesus compares this future event to the day of Noah. Destruction was coming to all, but only Noah was prepared to be saved because he obeyed what God said and built an ark. Today, we must be ready in case this is the time God has chosen for Christ’s return. He will come when we least expect it.
Are we ready for Christ’s return? Do we live our lives in the daily presence of our Lord? Or are we content to make comfort and convenience our idol? Are we seeking God’s approval or man’s approval?
In Revelation 3:15–17, the church in Laodicea is comfortable, rich, and not in need of anything. They are judged neither hot, nor cold, but lukewarm. But they don’t realize that they are poor in the things of God. They are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Jesus warns the church in Laodicea by urging them: “Be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” (20).
We will be saved from calamity only if we have opened the door and invited Jesus to live in our hearts.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, may we be found faithful and living lives that honor you when you return. Turn our hearts to you this Advent season. Help us to love others as you have loved us. Amen.
-Rev. Joan Spangler