Saving Grace

The gospel is the answer to secular and spiritual problems

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. – Matthew 24:42-44

During this time of the year, we in the Christian church say Happy New Year. Why? Because we are in the season of Advent. Sunday past was the first Sunday in Advent. The liturgical church year begins with Advent, which falls on the Sunday immediately following the American Thanksgiving.

The word “advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means “arrival” or “coming”. During the season of Advent, many Christian churches make themselves ready for the coming of the birth of Jesus, God’s messiah. The Christian church also looks forward in anticipation to our Lord’s second and final coming at the end of the age.

In the text above, our Lord commands us to watch. A watchman does not just idly stand around watching. He has assignments to do while he watches. A good watchman carries out those assignments during his watch.

As we wait for our Lord’s second advent, let us not be idle. There is so much for us to do. Lift up a prayer for the nation, for our young people, for the church. Find ways to engage people about the Lord. Don’t argue with them.

Live out your baptismal faith. No! We do not know when our Lord will return, but, while we wait, let us be working. Let us find something to do. 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.

In the preceding verses of this text, Jesus warns us that the people of our day will be like the people of Noah’s day. While Noah was warning the people of his day, they were having a good time and neglecting the word of God. Therefore, the flood came, and they were left outside of the ark.

They died because they rejected Noah’s message from God. Even though the people did not listen, Noah remained faithful to his mission. He continued to tell them about the gracious God he served.

Noah did not compromise God’s word to get the people to like him. He did not try to make it say what the people preferred it to say. No, he kept to the purity of God’s word.

As we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent and remember our Lord and Savior’s first Advent, we do not just sit around and talk about it. We are to be busy telling people about our Lord and His imminent return.

We are to be engaging people, telling them about the wonderful savior who has redeemed us. If we let Him, He will work wonders in our lives and the lives of those who embrace His word.

The gospel is God’s word to the people of the world. It has the power to make meaningful changes in the lives of all who hear it. It is what we need more of, in our country, and in our world. It is the answer to our problems, both secular and spiritual. Amen.

• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.  

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