"Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36)
How are you doing with getting ready for the holidays? Do you have a schedule, or maybe a list, of the things to get done? Have you ever thought about what it means? I have worked with international students who didn't understand "are you ready." There also seems to be more and more we need to get ready for - doesn't there? And, according to advertising, and pressure from outside, we should be starting sooner and doing more. Then, to add to the hectic schedule, we give you an Advent study.
There have been difficulties preparing for this celebration since the very first one -- the birth of Jesus. Think of the issues Mary faced, single unwed mother, the wise men faced (coming to celebrate the birth of a king) in traveling, the traveling Mary and Joseph had to do and why they were traveling. There was a lot happening back then also. If you look at what the reading in Jeremiah says (Jeremiah 33:14-16) Jeremiah is reminding the people God keeps God's promises - a Savior ("The LORD is our righteousness." v. 16) will come. Things had been difficult since Genesis but God kept calling the people back to God. The prophets kept calling the people back. Things happening, busy people, difficulties following where God is leading is NOT something new. People doing bad things is NOT something new -- look at what Herod was doing!
Advent is the start of the "new" church year. Why not start our New Year's resolutions with putting God first? We could start by making sure we have time with God every day - even if it means getting up a little earlier or going to bed a little later. A Caregivers schedule is VERY hectic, with a lot to get done, but God gives us the strength to continue. Spending time with God, preparing to celebrate God's Son's birthday is a wonderful way to thank God and renew our strength with God. Are you ready?
"But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:23
King of Kings, Lord of Lords..... When you are thinking of Jesus is this how you think of him? We remember Emmanuel -- God with us. And I, personally, remember my friend Isaiah reminding us God has us by the hand and in God's hand. (Isaiah 41:10 & 13) But do we remember, and think about, King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Are we thanking the King of Kings for being with us?
Today we are celebrating Christ the King Sunday - King of Kings, Lord of Lords - and preparing for Thanksgiving. Two things to be thinking about --Emmanuel, the power of Christ the King of Kings in each of us, and being thankful for all the blessings God has given each of, and all of, us. It is easy to remember to be thankful when we are reminding of it, every where we look, because of Thanksgiving Day being this week. It is important to remember when we are in the "waiting" time we have spoken of before. To be thanking the King of Kings for being with us through the difficult times as well as for the blessings.
One other thing to be thinking about as we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. This is the last Sunday of the Liturgical calendar year. Next Sunday starts Advent - the beginning of the church year. Why not confuse your friends, and family, and start your "new year's" resolutions next Sunday? Why not make thanking, and praising, the King of Kings one of our things to do daily? Something interesting to be thinking about....
"But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come." (Mark 13:32-33)
Hurry up!! We need to get there! Or... Hurry up! This is important you need to do this ASAP. Then what happens? You have to wait for ________ fill in the blank. Sometimes we have to wait for the appointment. Sometimes we have to wait for somebody else to do something. Sometimes we are waiting on the weather or just to see what happens. Kind of like a few weeks ago..... how are you at waiting? And, just out of curiosity, what is your attitude while you wait?
The Gospel reading today is Jesus answering questions on when things will happen and what the "signs will be" for when it is about to happen. (Mark 13:4) This is something the Disciples were asking about. It is something WE ask about. Every generation, including the Disciples, thought it was going to happen then. The signs were there - wars, rumors of wars, storms, earthquakes, severe weather, everything you can think of (and some you probably hadn't thought of). The thing is Jesus is answering the question. He points out even HE doesn't know the answer - only God knows the timing. (v. 32) Jesus also, however, gives some instructions for while we wait - "Beware, keep alert." (v. 33) In other words..... Be ready.
So..... what is your attitude? Are you ready? As Caregivers we need to not only be ready ourselves but we need to help our "person(s)" to be ready - right? At the same time we need to be going one step, one day at a time -- especially with our "person(s)." So......what IS your attitude? Can you "hurry up"? Are you ready -- even to have to wait? Are you ready?
"he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"......... Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." (John 11:43c & 44c)
Now that is an interesting idea - isn't it. What does it make you think of? Do you start thinking of something, or someone, you love? Do you start thinking of something you are angry about? Do you start thinking of your to do list? Or what about your someday list? Or, for some of us, who (or what) is holding you back? There are a lot of things coming to mind aren't there? So what do we do?
The Scripture readings, today are about God calling us by name. God knows us by name, knew us before we were formed, some translations say knit together, in our mother's womb. AND, my friend, Isaiah, says God has us by the hand and in God's hand. The question is are we answering, coming or doing? Jesus is thanking God for listening and answering Jesus prayers. (John 11:42) He is also pointing out "this is for the people here" to see God's miracles. We can picture it but can we put ourselves into the picture? Can we, like Lazarus, get up and come when called? One of Carmen's songs is about Lazarus having a wonderful visit with Abraham, and some others, when Jesus calls to "come out!" (John ll:43c) Kind of the "who me" response, in the song, before answering.
Is it also something holding us back? Jesus' response is to tell people to "let him go." (John 11:44c) We need to let go. We need to let go of the anger, the fear, or whatever is holding us back. We need to be listening for what God is calling us to do. Then we need to "let go," "come out" and follow where God is leading.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.