Where Are Our Priorities?
Published Nov. 29, 2011 @ midnight
This past Sunday we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. The term is used by those churches that use the historic church calendar though in the United Methodist Church we use it in an abbreviated form. The term Advent is time of reflection not only on Christ coming as a child in Bethlehem but also as the Risen King in the second coming of the Christ.
We often look forward to Christ’s coming again as a wonderful day and a time of celebration. But when we do so we are not always viewing what the scriptures say about that time. The Lectionary reading from the Gospel came from Mark 13 when Jesus talks about that day with scenes of stars falling from the sky and the sun being darkened. In so doing He follows the prophecies of the Old Testament that announce the “great and terrible Day of the Lord.” Those prophecies foretell of the heavens being shaken and the earth being covered in blood and the corpses of human beings. The picture drawn is one of horror when everything we think could never happen, happens.
Jesus' words in the gospel are meant to warn the disciples that nothing of this world would really last. Therefore, one’s priorities should not be on having a lasting inheritance in this age but rather that we should be seeking to be faithful to God so that our reward might be made greater in the age that is still to come. The question that Mark wanted to raise with his readers by relating Jesus’ words is “where are our priorities?” It is a question meant for us.