November 16, 2017
Zephaniah 1:7-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30
Alleluia. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. Alleluia.
As we move into the holiday season this weekend and look begin to see just how quickly the calendar begins to fill, it can be overwhelming to consider all that needs to be done. The planning it takes to pull it all off began already this week. If you buy a frozen turkey, for it to safely thaw it needs 24 hours in your refrigerator for every four pounds the bird weighs. Then, you must also accommodate for time bringing and prepping before you even begin to cook it. Waiting until the last minute simply doesn't work; a successful season depends on planning ahead.
In the readings for this weekend, we are warned about the dangers of apathy. That if you don't plan ahead, if you don't look into the future, if you don't take the time to consider what needs to be done in preparation, when the time comes you will not be ready. This is the warning Zephaniah and Paul give us in the readings; don't become apathetic and wait until the last minute to prepare for Christ's return. To do so is dangerous. For he might return and catch you off guard. If this happens no extra time will be given. The heavenly banquet feast will begin whether you are ready for it or not.
The Good News in this warning is that readiness comes from Christ himself. He is the one who prepares the table. He is the one who prepares our hearts. He sends the Spirit to work faith in our hearts so that we will be prepared for his coming. It is our job to not resist that work and watch and wait with anticipation for our Savior to come.
Almighty and ever-living God, You have given exceedingly great and precious promises to those who trust in You. Dispel from us the works of darkness and grant us to live in the light of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that our faith may never be found wanting; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.