the 9th sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may be ready to receive you wherever you appear, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
[Jesus said:] “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
the DEVOTION. . .
When the church, first, caught my attention – really piqued my interest – I was a freshman in college. My family had moved across the country, just before senior year in high school. I graduated and started college, the next Fall. By that time, the Jesus Movement had drifted into Arizona from California and “born-again believers” were all over campus. And only two things mattered. Getting into heaven. And the Second Coming. Well, I’ve moved on from there. Promises to keep, you know. Miles to go. But those two things have hounded me ever since.
I should have expected it, but they came up, again, this week. Conjured by the final words in the gospel reading. The Rapture. The Tribulation. The Millennium. (Or is it the Millennium and, then, the Tribulation?) Second Coming. Judgment. But it’s funny. This time through, forty-something years later, I realize … when Jesus says, “Be ready! He’s coming!” Wasn’t the Son of Man already there?
Bob Barndt, pastor