Sunday

11 August 2019

Luke 12:32-40

'You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’ (v. 40)

Psalm: Psalm 33:12-22

Background

The early Church lived in the expectation that end times were coming. Jesus would return. Luke writes in Acts 1:11: ‘This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ For a moment imagine living in that kind of expectation. How might it shape your attitudes to work, family, possessions and society? Acts 2:42-47 gives you a glimpse of how the first Christian converts behaved! A radical and dramatic expression of Church.

I have been burgled a number of times! Once the unwelcome guests smashed windows and stole lots and we came back with all the family from two weeks holiday to be shocked by the mess, and sombre look of our neighbours. "I’m afraid they’ve made a real mess," we were told. "Especially your bedrooms." We looked a little shame-faced at each other. The bedrooms were a mess before we left! About the worst thing of being burgled is that the police, the burglars, even your neighbours get to see your house ill-prepared for such inspection. Next time we went away we tidied up in case it happened again.

Peter (2 Peter 3:10) tells us that Jesus comes "like a thief in the night" – and if you have been burgled that will evoke some strong feelings. Jesus says ‘be ready’ for the Son of Man comes at an unexpected hour!

I wonder how that strikes you? When you focus on the ‘who’ of ‘he is coming’, then the ‘being ready’ takes on a new meaning. Living ready not for burglars, or police, or kindly meaning neighbours – but Jesus. Jesus who "comes with healing in his wings" (Malachi 4:2). Excited? Happy? Wary? Worried?

Perhaps this thought brings us closer to the early Church and the habits of Acts 2:42!

 

To Ponder:

  • What in your life at the moment do you feel anxious about?
  • Where do you feel confident and relaxed?
  • How do you think Jesus responds to the complex reality that is you?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Mark Wakelin

Mark Wakelin was born in Norfolk and taken to Africa as a baby by missionary parents. He was the President of the Methodist Conference 2012/2013, and before that worked for the Connexional Team, as the secretary for internal relationships. He is now the minster at Epsom Methodist Church.

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