In sports, athletes talk about being mentally ready for a game. We have all seen what happens when a team is not prepared. Physically and talent-wise they may be superior, but if they are not alert and mentally awake, they will go down in defeat. Example: The Colts lost to an inferior Miami Dolphins team a few weeks ago, because they weren’t mentally ready.
December 1st is the 1st Sunday of Advent. There is a sense of urgency as the readings call us to “be ready”, “be awake”, “be prepared”. In the 1st reading from Isaiah, the prophet says that “all nations shall stream to the Lord’s mountain…. That he may instruct us in his ways…….Let us walk in the light of the Lord.” It’s our call to action…. Seek the Lord, he will teach us, and we follow him.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he tells us it’s time to wake up. We should understand that it is time for us to change and conduct ourselves “properly as in the day.” The night is over and this is no time to rest. Now is the time to focus on our Savior, and to put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our Gospel reading, Jesus echoes the urgency of Isaiah and Paul as he tells his disciples “Stay awake! You don’t know the day your Lord will come.” Stewardship calls us to wake up, be ready to put on the light of Christ, and to carry out our stewardship in action, not just preparation.
So, Team Jesus, listen up….our coach is talking to us. It is Advent; he is coming, and the time to change is now.
Tony Cooper-Stewardship and Development