Today’s Scriptures: Lectionary selections from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Jesus’s statements sometime prove to be real head-scratchers. The prediction about his return in the passage from Luke exemplifies the vagaries his parables were known for. His prophesy combined with the parable mixes both a lack of specifics with absolute definites. What we want to be specific is not. Furthermore, some of the specifics, we know some 2000 years later are not what we would call specific. The passage though gives us insight in that the return of Christ will have both natural and spiritual aspects and we will know them when we see them.
Some religious leaders point to natural anomalies from time to time as proof of Christ’s imminent return, but the spiritual aspect is missing. Others claim a special spiritual revelation from God, but forget the natural aspect of the prophesy. Jesus did not deliver this parable to the religious leaders; it was for everyone and I read it to indicate all believers will recognize the coming, not just a random leader here and there.
Anticipation is work for the believer as supported by the encouragement in Jeremiah and 1 Thessalonians. Staying faithful does not mean just worshipping on Sunday, but being faithful the entire week and doing all the things God declares for us to do. Anticipation requires work and thoughtfulness. In this season of Advent, we take comfort in the constant encouragement of the scriptures to maintain the focus necessary for spiritual stamina.
Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org