Necessity of Watchfulness

This Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent and the Gospel of Matthew continues on from 24:35 that refers to Heaven and Earth passing away. Then Matthew elaborates in 24:36 that begins with the verse, “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son but only the Father.” So the question is what does that all mean?

I believe my own starting point in relation to this scripture is putting the verse into the context of my own faith. When I reflect on the meaning and purpose the scripture has for my own life I think of Jesus’ words, “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 this house be broken into.”

My interpretation of what Jesus is saying is that if you knew a thief was coming you would protect your house accordingly therefore why aren’t we living our faith in the same way? I wonder if Jesus was clearly stating that we may take too much for granted and we should be treating each day as though it was our last.

Hence, what would I do if I knew Jesus was coming again within a very short time?I think I would like to spend as much time as possible with my family, friends and the people in my workplace to build up relationships that were positive and fruitful and enhance their lives as well as my own.

Additionally, I would like to believe that I would continue to witness the Gospel by using my gifts and talents to support others in being successful in their own lives. I often feel great when see people whom I know be successful and I like to consider I have contributed in some small way.

Finally, I would reflect on the many things I have to grateful in my life. My family, friends, my job where I meet lots of wonderful people, that I have a roof over my head and food to eat. These things I take perhaps for granted when I know there are people who have lost their families, no food to eat or home to go to and most sobering is that they fear for their lives because of war or government policy in the countries they live.

So for me to Jesus is saying be watchful not for protection but for appreciation of what we have.


What if Jesus was running for President?

In view of the upcoming US Presidential Election I have reflected on what would be Jesus’ platform if he was a candidate? I believe that Jesus would have delivered the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12 as the cornerstone that underpinned his campaign.

He would have opened with “Blessed are the poor in spirit promising them with salvation not due to clever economic strategy but being rewarded into the kingdom of heaven.

For persons who mourn they will not be ignored but comforted by those who recognise their grief.

Jesus will assure the meek that they will no longer be taken advantage of for being gentle and kind but instead inherit the earth.

To campaigners who hunger and thirst for truth their views will be listened to and have laws instituted on the principles of social justice.

If you seek mercy for past hurts, you will not be vilified but forgiven.

To the people who act with honesty and integrity you are not naïve but will see God.

All who make time to create peace rather than conflict you will be called the children of God.

Finally, those who are persecuted for fairness and equality or falsely accused through someone deliberately undermining you or for religious beliefs rejoice and be glad for the greatest reward anyone can receive is in heaven.

So when Jesus argues these points in the great debate against other leaders how would he go? Would he be ridiculed and face trial by media declaring he is making promises that cannot be guaranteed? Or imagine if people voted Jesus and were willing to live according to his ideals it would be possible to glimpse heaven on earth.