2 December 2007Matthew 24:36-44
"Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming." (v.42)
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?
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?