Friday, December 12, 2014

Be alert for his coming....

Luke 12:35  "Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36  be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37  Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38  If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39  "But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40  You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." 41  Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?" 42  And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43  Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 44  Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 45  But if that slave says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46  the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. 47  That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48  But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

This year it is particularly difficult to be excited about Christmas:
·         Hostages have been killed by the Taliban and al-Qaeda
·         Ebola ravages the lives of many in central west Africa
·         The American CIA admits to horrific torture of prisoners (and few other governments say anything)
And closer to home:
·         ESKOM denies that there is any crisis when we face repeated power cuts
·         The President of our Country denies any wrong doing on his part when his private residence is upgraded at state expense at a cost of over R220 million.
·         And the Office of our Public Prosecutor is in disarray.

The passage above is particularly appropriate for this.
This passage was written for the next generation of Jesus-followers. This is the generation who had witnessed the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, the persecution of those who did not swear total loyalty to the Emperor, and the consequent fear filled scattering of those who were loyal to Jesus. Luke writes to reassure them that despite the very difficult circumstances, they were not to lose hope because “the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour”.

This passage has continued to serve as encouragement through many generations of Christ-followers. Each Advent we anticipate once again the arrival of the Son of Man – and we encourage each other to "Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit”.  Let us not be discouraged by the gathering darkness in our country: the Son of Man was born for a time such as this.

Lig jou hande na bo (Sing Halleluja)
Gee eer aan Hom (Halleluja)
Ons Koning kom
Loof sy heilige naam
Lig jou hande na bo (Sing Halleluja)
Vertrou op Hom (Halleluja)
Ons Koning kom
Hy kom om ons te haal

Elke knie sal buig
En elke tong sal getuig
Hy't die dood vir ewig oorwin
Hy't opgestaan!

Juanita du Plessis

 Third Sunday in Advent
3.The Coming of Christ
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 26.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

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