“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
– Matthew 24:37-39, 42
There is a story about a wave of petty theft, which was taking place at a factory. This prompted management to post guards at the factory in order to curtail the thievery.
The first evening, out came worker Petrovich with a wheelbarrow and, on the wheelbarrow, a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. “All right, Petrovich,” said the guard, “what have you got there? Oh, just sawdust and shavings,” Petrovich replied. “Come on,” the guard said, “I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it over.” And out came nothing but sawdust and shavings, so he was allowed to put it all back again and go home.
When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. “Petrovich,” he said, “I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go. Wheelbarrows, my friend,” said Petrovich, “wheelbarrows”.
At Christmas time, criminals become quite active. For this reason, the police warn members of the public to be alert and on guard. Business owners are advised to exercise caution and to post guards around their business premises.
In the text above, Jesus tells us to be alert. We are to be on guard because no man knows the day of his coming. Some of us are on guard, but we are not alert. We fall asleep at the wheel.
An individual was traveling from one city in the United States, to another, to spend Thanksgiving with family members. His journey was at night. During the ride, the driver fell asleep and the bus began to sway towards the curb. The alert passengers were able to awake the driver and avoid a major catastrophe. The passengers were on guard and alert, the driver was not.
Jesus warns us that the people of our day will be like the people of Noah’s day. Noah warned the people of his day, but they spurned his warning. As a result, they perished.
Notwithstanding that the people were flippant towards his message, Noah continued to tell them about the gracious God he served. Noah did not become discouraged or compromised God’s word.
He did not tell the people what they preferred. Instead, he stayed focused and proclaimed the unadulterated truth of God’s word.
Last Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent. In celebrating Advent, we are to be conscious of our mission as Christians here on earth. We are too busy ourselves sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the world.
We are to be engaging people, telling them about the wonderful savior who has redeemed us. Tell them, if they let him, he will work wonders in their lives too. Engage them but don’t argue with them.
A watchman has assignments to do while he watches. A good watchman carries out those assignments during his watch. He does not sit idle.
As we wait for our Lord’s second advent, let us not be idle. There is so much for us to do. Lift up prayers for the nation, for our young people, for the church. Live out your baptismal faith. We do not know when our Lord will return, but while we wait, let us be working. Tell about the gracious and merciful Lord Jesus who has given himself for us. Tell them about the joy which you have found in him. Be the best watchman you can be. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.