Sunday, November 28, 2010

"One Day at a Time"

Romans 13:11-14
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Matthew 24:36–44
But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

A Message from the Pastor
Happy New Year, everyone! Yes, it’s the beginning of the New Year for the Church. It’s the beginning of Advent. It is the season of waiting, expectation, and hope. The paraments on the altar are blue to symbolize our hope. We wait, are expectant, hope for the coming of Christ. I like to think that there are three ways that we prepare for the coming of Christ, with our expectancy, our waiting, and our hope.

Of course, we are waiting for the coming of the Christ child into the manger, not a palace or a fine home. Jesus comes to us in squalor as he is laid in a feeding trough in a stable. He comes to us as one of us. He comes to us as a common person, living among us. God changes the concept of humanity forever as God becomes part of humanity in the form of his son.

Another way we think of Jesus coming to us is that he does so every day. He comes to us when we are open to his coming. He lives within us.

The third way that we consider Jesus coming is on the “last day.” It is when he comes, so to speak, in the clouds. We think of this each time we confess our faith in the words of the Apostles’ Creed, “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.”

Now I must confess that I have trouble discussing or talking about this final “coming.” First of all, when we ponder his coming again on the “last day,” we focus on the future, not on the present where it is best to find and relate to God. When we think about the future, we move ourselves out of the present. Secondly, many times when we think of the “last day,” we find ourselves listening to the concept of the rapture, which is that philosophy, that concept, that Jesus will come again as part of a cataclysmic event when he will snatch up those who are true believers, take them to heaven, and leave the rest for one thousand years of trial and tribulation. This is not good theology. Although there is scripture that reminds us of his coming and that he could come in the clouds, there is nothing that says he will come in some dramatic event. The concept of the rapture comes from taking snippets of scripture from different places in the Bible and developing a rapture theology. I believe that scripture should be read recognizing that each author wrote to the people of the time for specific situations that existed at the time. We need to understand that and relate it to our present situation. The theology of the rapture didn’t develop until the late nineteenth century.

As we read these texts, I would rather consider the reality that Jesus comes to us all the time, one day at a time. As we read the gospel story for today, we find that Jesus is saying that he will come again under the most ordinary of circumstances. He will come when they are eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage. He will come when men are in the field and women are grinding meal together. These are things that happen as part of ordinary living, not anything cataclysmic. He comes in the common, everyday part of life. He comes one day at a time.

Jesus does come to us all the time. He comes to us as part of the means of grace and word and sacrament. He comes to us when Polly read scripture this morning. He comes to us when we are baptized and we remember that when we are baptized, it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives within us. He comes to us when we come to this altar to receive bread and wine and you hear me say, “The body of Christ for you,” and a fellow worshipper says, “This is the blood of Christ for you.” Jesus comes to us every time we pray, whether intentionally or otherwise, one day at a time. Jesus comes to us, not only in this worship, but each day as we worship him. Jesus comes to us one day at a time when we open the book of faith and find Jesus. He comes to us as we joyously serve, remembering his words, “When you do this to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.” The same comments from Jesus apply when we generously give. Furthermore, even when we have fellowship after worship and we share with one another our lives, Jesus is with us for he said, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in your midst.
Jesus is always coming to us. And he comes to us one day at a time.

1 comment:

  1. The Amputated Member...

    Attention all non-Catholics who "claim" to follow the teaching of Holy Scripture!

    Have you ever read 1Corinthians 12:1-31 before?

    Have you understood the message written therein?

    1. There is but one Body of Christ (vs 12).

    2. The Body of Christ is the Church which He founded, Ephesians 1:22-23

    3. Therefore the Church which Jesus Christ founded IS Christ.

    4. Therefore those who reject His Church, reject Him. Matthew 12:30

    5. Since there is but one Christ with one Body, so there must be but one Church. Psalms 127:1, Matthew 16:18

    6. The Body (Church) consists of not one member, but many (vs 14).

    7. The many members of the one (Church) Body are all part of the same Body but each with his own function (vs's 15-20).

    8. The Body of Christ cannot be separated from His Head.

    9. Since the Body consists of members, individual members of the Body can be separated from the Head.

    10. GOD has said that there must be no discord within the Body (vs 25).

    11. However, there was great discord within the one Body, and it was a clear violation of verse 25.

    12. It is called the Protestant Revolt .

    13. Leaders and members of the Protest ant Revolt Amputated themselves from the one Body(Church) (vs 21).

    14. Each member of the Body has his own function, by analogy, an eye, ear, hand, foot (vs's 15-18).

    15. Can a hand live by itself, disconnected (Amputated) from the Body, or can an eye, an ear, or a foot?

    16. What happens to a member which is Amputated from the Body?

    17. The soul does not go with the Amputated member, and thus the member dies.