Expect the Unexpected!
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” – Luke 21: 34-36
Many of the scripture readings for Advent are full of such warnings and dire forebodings.
They tell of people unprepared for God, like the tenants surprised by the sudden appearance of their landlord; like the sleepy bridesmaids waiting with their empty oil-lamps for the bridegroom to come.
In Lauren Winner’s graceful little book Girl Meets God, she says about Advent, “The waiting is meant to be a little anxious. I picture Jane Austen heroines. They never are quite sure that their intended will come.”
While we wait and watch Advent admonishes us to be clear-headed and sharp-eyed. We are advised to keep our heads up. Don’t fall down an open manhole because you are worrying about the Dow Jones!
And what about this dread day that could come at us like a trap? Is it a special day, a certain day, the last Day, or perhaps just any day?
Whenever that coming day, we are warned against getting weighed down by the troubles of the world, told to travel with light hearts, and to expect the unexpected. After all, whenever the living God is involved, anything might happen!
Keep us alert and alive, O God, that we may be prepared for your coming. We pray in the name of Jesus, whose yoke is easy and burden is light.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer and author, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.