There is a popular bumper sticker I see often in the San Francisco Bay Area, “Jesus is coming. Look busy.” I imagine many people put this sticker on their car to poke fun at the Christian concept of the “last days.” The underlying message of this bumper sticker seems to be I’ll just take my chances that if God does come, I can always manage to look Christian at the last minute.
Our scripture passage likens the coming of Jesus to the story of Noah. Noah is a man who certainly keeps busy while the rest of the world’s inhabitants go along their merry way, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” Now, none of us would profess that these things are evil or sinful. Quite the opposite! We love to do these things.
But what if our lives become completely focused on these things alone? What happens if my whole life’s purpose is looking for something good to eat, looking for the best bar in town, or searching for Mr. Right? Sooner or later, I will wake up and realize that I have lived my life only for myself.
Noah is a great example of Advent living. He has the communication lines open with God. He focuses on godly things. And he lives for others. Remember, he doesn’t build that ark for himself or even for him and his loved ones. He brings every kind of creation onto that boat with him. What a feat! To live a life that matters means focusing on the things beyond our own survival and desires.
God of our salvation, help us to focus our lives on you. Help us walk this day in the way of Advent. Amen.
Advent is a season for turning our minds to the coming arrival of the Christ child. Isaiah looks forward to a future day when peace will reign in Jerusalem. All nations will come to hear the wisdom of the Lord. The psalmist rejoices in going up to Jerusalem in his own day. Jerusalem is a center of peace and a place for righteous judgment among the nations. Both readings inform Jewish expectations of a bright future with the arrival of the Messiah. Paul tells the Romans that part of receiving the reality of the Messiah is self-preparation. We should put aside immoral living and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew looks forward to the future return of the Son of God, which will happen at an unexpected time.
Read Isaiah 2:1-5. How do you look to the Bible’s stories, prayer, and the Holy Spirit to help you work toward God’s kingdom?
Read Psalm 122. What does it mean for you to pray for peace?
Read Romans 13:11-14. How do you stay awake to salvation’s nearness?
Read Matthew 24:36-44. Who in your life lives as though they expect the Son of Man? What does it look like to be ready to meet Christ?
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