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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Friday, December 01, 2017

Next Day

Thirty-two years ago I was a walking visual aid for the season of Advent as I entered the 9th month of pregnancy with our first child. The situation brought home the focus of the traditional gospel readings for the First Sunday of Advent--that is, our inability to predict Christ's return at the end of time and our need to be ready. In Mark, Jesus says, "Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come." Along with the congregation I was serving, my husband and I did not know when the time would come for the birth of our child, but we were ready. The nursery had been wallpapered, the crib set up, a dresser filled with everything a baby would need.
Because we do not know when Christ will come, it is best to live prepared and ready: fearlessly, with kindness, forgiveness, compassion and generosity. Such lives will rejoice to receive our Lord as he comes to us now, as well as at the end of time.

As we rest in you, O God, keep us ready and prepared to meet you each day—as well as at the end. Our times are in your hands. Amen.

Rachel Mithelman, '83
St Johns Lutheran Church, Des Moines, Iowa

Mark 13:24-37 (NRSV)

24 "But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory.
27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
35 Therefore, keep awake--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

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