November 30, 2020
Isaiah 64:1-9 (CEB)
[a] If only you would tear open the heavens and come down!
Mountains would quake before you
2 like fire igniting brushwood or making water boil.
[b] If you would make your name known to your enemies,
the nations would tremble in your presence.
3 When you accomplished wonders beyond all our expectations;
when you came down, mountains quaked before you.
4 From ancient times,
no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any god but you
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him![c]
5 You look after those who gladly do right;
they will praise you for your ways.[d]
But you were angry when we sinned;
you hid yourself when we did wrong.[e]
6 We have all become like the unclean;
all our righteous deeds are like a menstrual rag.
All of us wither like a leaf;
our sins, like the wind, carry us away.
7 No one calls on your name;
no one bothers to hold on to you,
for you have hidden yourself from us,
and have handed us over[f] to our sin.
8 But now, Lord, you are our father.
We are the clay, and you are our potter.
All of us are the work of your hand.
9 Don’t rage so fiercely, Lord;
don’t hold our sins against us forever,
but gaze now on your people, all of us:
Mark 13:24-37 (CEB)
24 “In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. 25 The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Human One[a] coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. 27 Then he will send the angels and gather together his chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.
A lesson from the fig tree
28 “Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that he’s near, at the door. 30 I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
32 “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 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!”
Throughout our lives, we often fall into complacency, and our watchful waiting falls by the wayside. Then the season of Advent suddenly hits us with a reminder that we are continually waiting and preparing for something. Despite our tendency to get off track and the many challenges, the year has presented, Advent is the time of year to start over. During this first week of Advent, we do the important task of self-examination, recognize the state of messiness our lives are in and remember the hope-filled promise of Christ’s return. Christ has come. Christ is come. Christ will come again!