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Friday, November 29, 2019

Next Day

The church has been confessing the promise for centuries: "He will come again to judge..." The words tumble off our lips easily. But do we really believe what we confess?

The faith that Jesus came as a baby born in Bethlehem is a pretty easy faith to have. The faith that Jesus shows up in my neighbor or that I am instructed to be Christ to my neighbor is a faith I celebrate. But the faith that Jesus will come again -- that's the hard one. Then again, I don't believe I will be robbed either.

How do I get ready for his coming? Maybe -- only maybe -- by being attentive to that second coming that Advent celebrates, by being alert to his coming in the neighbor, even that neighbor who doesn't live next door, who becomes my neighbor because he or she needs a neighbor. And I happen to be available. One might say "ready."

Unexpected God, you continually surprise us. A baby born in a barn? Who would have thought it? Then you invite us to be a part of the solution to the many problems of this world. You trust us to do your work. Pretty risky. What faith you have in us. May we have such faith in you. Amen.

Gary A. Westgard, '69
Retired Clergy, Yankton, S.D.

Matthew 24:36-44 (NRSV)

36 [Jesus said,] "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark,
39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.
40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.
42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
43 But understand this: if the owner 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.
44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.