Advent Reflections 2023: Day 3

3 December   Mark 13:24-37

How do you prepare for Christmas? Our family know when we’re going to decorate the house. There are definite signs. Out come the polish and the hoover. The house must be clean before decorating can begin.

Here we are at the beginning of Advent, trying to prepare, to get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus and probably already feeling stressed. If only our reading could give us a warm fuzzy feeling. But no.

The first readers of Mark’s gospel were surrounded by destruction. The Temple in Jerusalem would soon be torn down, persecution of Christians had intensified, false prophets lured the community in all directions and there was fighting within the church. All was not going well for the Christian community. They were losing hope in the future.

Christ will come again, and we’ll know the signs when we see them. As we wait, Jesus has some advice for us: keep actively watching, stay awake, be ready. We can’t wait until the last minute to start living the gospel, we need to do it now.

We are called to love God and our neighbour. We are called to serve, worship, and witness, to live our lives to the praise and glory of Jesus, to make room for him, rather than be distracted by everything around us. As we ponder this, are there things we need to let go, or things we need to begin to do?

Jesus Christ will return in glory. God keeps his promises. While we wait, we get ready. We prepare our homes, our hearts, our lives as we seek to be the people God calls us to be. Keep awake!

Joy Rulton

Gracious God,

May we keep watch,

May we be alert,

May we be attentive,

May we be prepared.

Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.