As we have done in years past, we are again blogging our way through the Advent Lectionary readings. We love this season as it allows us to take time to slow ourselves down and walk between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is time for us to live in full knowledge of the “Now” of the Kingdom without rushing the “Not Yet” of the Kingdom. Thank you for being a part of this journey with us. Our prayer is that these posts will serve as devotional meditations to focus your heart and mind on the imminent coming of our King!
A reading from the Gospel of Matthew.
“But concerning that day and hour now one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
— Matthew 24:36-44 (ESV)
The Word of God for the people of God.
Noah built a boat–“a floating zoo” as the Irish Rovers referred to it. All the while he was building, his neighbors watched and wondered what exactly it was that Noah was going on about.
Night and day, Noah built.
Until one day, he looks at his boat. Ponders a name. Settles on USS Ark. And, then God brings him animals.
“Green alligators, and long-necked geese. Humpty back camels and some chimpanzees.” (Gotta love the Irish Rovers.)
You know the story.
And, here, in our Advent text for today, Jesus is reminding his disciples of how absurd Noah must have looked to his neighbors.
And, guess what, Disciples?
You might be looking a bit like that as well.
The KINGDOM is coming!
But, we already have a king–Caesar.
See, our proclamation that the Kingdom is coming–and is already here–doesn’t always sit well with those around us. They either don’t recognize the Kingdom, because they don’t know the King. Or, they don’t think that the Kingdom can come into the mess that is surrounds us. Surely, if the Kingdom of God is coming, then first all the bad must be wiped out.
Well, maybe not. Maybe, it is within the midst of the messiness that the Kingdom–the rescue from the flood–is built. It’s in the middle of the eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage that the Kingdom is built.
All the while, God invites us into the Kingdom. Join it now. Begin to live out the reality of freedom from the impending disaster now. The Kingdom sits close at hand. Sure, the Ark, like the Kingdom, isn’t finished yet. So grab a hammer and a nail and get to building.
Be a part of the coming Kingdom now. Because while the Kingdom isn’t fully realized, it is indeed being built.
In every situation. All over the world. There are evidences that the Kingdom is being built. Disciples sent out. Lights shining as if they were put on a lamp stand. And bringing light to all in the house. And, in that light, showing the way to (and of) the Kingdom. Step-by-step. Down the path of peace.
It is in this time of the Kingdom not yet complete that we work to build the Kingdom. We labor–not for our own benefit–but for the benefit of those around us. Those who don’t understand. Those who don’t quite get it. But, who just might pick up a hammer and start building on their own. Until that day when it all makes sense.
And, we learn that the ark is full of our neighbors. We learn that it is full of those who didn’t understand at first, but who decided to start building alongside us. And, as they built, we discipled them. We prayed with them. We comforted them. We were Jesus hands and feet to them. And, the day will come when they will join the Kingdom and kept right on building alongside us!
So, build your boat. Every where you go. Be building. Be hammering. Be sawing. Be nailing. No matter the funny looks you receive. No matter the heckling. Keep building. Keep doing your part here in between now and the not yet.