Sunday

2 December 2007

Matthew 24:36-44

"Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming." (v.42)

Background

The emphasis of this passage is the unexpectedness of Christ's arrivals. His original coming was a surprise, and in the last few days before Jesus was crucified he prepares his followers for the fact that he will be coming again. They need to work, to prepare, and not just sit back and rest on their salvation. This was an essential message that Christ needed to ensure his followers understood. Unless they understood and carried on his work, the message would die out. His salvation and kingdom was not just for them, but for everyone.

Traditionally this passage has always been interpreted to that of sharing the gospel and finding Christ as a personal saviour. However, we could also consider the need to be prepared for the second coming, and the need for preparation for the kingdom.

A phrase heard often these days in relation to Iraq is 'nation building'. Should this be the current role of the Church in relation to the second coming: being called to be nation builders with all that entails?

To Ponder

Are we only considering the spreading of the Word or do we understand the need to work for the kingdom in the here and now?

What are we doing to make God's kingdom come?

Who is included in the kingdom and who is not? Are we including everyone, or who will be left out and left behind?


Bible notes author

Helen Tyers

Helen Tyers is a Disabled Person who has a passion for understanding the message of the gospel and the scriptures in the context of the present not as part of our medieval past. The scriptures, along with the works of the early fathers and the Church through history should be embraced to help us understand the changing relationship we have with God and how God changes the response to us with the same message.