33 Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. 34 It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. 35 Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”
There’s been a trend on social media that says given the effects on us, from the pandemic and social justice unrest, we will be either thriving or surviving. This assumption is based on how we are handling the stress of living in a hyper vigilant emotional state, caused by trying to avoid the virus or fighting over politics, or worried about social justice, unemployment and food insecurity. We feel like we’re thriving, then we get bad news and fall instantly into surviving. Given the current situation, thriving or surviving aren’t steady states. We exist on more of a rollercoaster ride between surviving and thriving, but mostly we’re just hanging on, waiting for the ride to end. Most of us are waiting and hanging onto hope. Hope for a vaccine, hope to return to normal, hoping God will see us through to better times.
Don’t despair! Jesus is our hope! As disciples of Jesus we live our lives waiting in a state of hopeful expectancy for Jesus to return. Jesus knew we’d get distracted and fatigued. Christ knows how hard life can be for us. It’s almost as if we’re sleep walking through life, just to survive. That’s why Jesus wants us to wake up and “Stay Alert!” We’re so busy trying to thrive or survive that we lose our focus on the dream. The dream God has for God’s children, the Kin(g)dom of God. A place we no longer struggle to thrive or survive. A place of peace, of no more tears, of love that grows like the tiny mustard seed into a great tree providing shelter and rest, that gathers all into God’s saving grace and salvation.
God’s Kin(g)dom is not a future place, it began with Jesus’ birth, Emmanuel, God with us. Before Jesus left, He taught us how to continue to build and to work in the Kin(g)dom. Each of us has an assignment, an essential spiritual gift, to share the Good News, to love the stranger, to feed, to clothe, and to care with grace, mercy and love. To be the presence of Christ to others.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Jesus calls us to wake up and “Stay Alert” for his return. Are there areas in your life where you feel like you’re sleep walking and you need to ‘wake up’ and stay alert for the return of Jesus? God’s Kin(g)dom is God’s dream for us. What gifts can you use here and now to help grow God’s Kin(g)-dom?
Prayer: Loving Savior, you are our hope and you call us to wake up and stay alert to your return. Help us to use the gifts you have given us so we can be at work to grow God’s Kin(g)dom. Amen.