By Susan Oxley of Renton, WA, USA
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. —Matthew 24:44 NRSV
As the Rugby World Cup approached, my husband Ron and I prepared carefully to view the championship game on TV. The New Zealand All-Blacks were the favorite to win, but they would be playing the Australia Wallabies, a powerful competitor. We double-checked the time, arranged our schedule, and were both ready and hopeful when the final game started. Our preparation somewhat resembled the preparations made by the winning All-Blacks.
When a rugby game begins, the spectators already know how the game will be played. The players kick the first ball and events unfold in sequence, one after another, according to basic rules. No one knows who will win, but the winning score is a result of the actions, reactions, and choices of the teams and players at each moment of the game.
Kingdom-living is much the same way. Jesus taught the kingdom of God is coming, a result we can trust. He also taught the kingdom is here, present, in us—in our daily actions, reactions, and choices. What will occur is a natural progression of what is happening now. Christ calls each of us to be involved in the promise of the New Creation by intentionally modeling it every day. “Being ready” means more than tuning in to the TV, as if the kingdom were a game to watch. Kingdom-living is not a spectator sport. All who follow Christ are on the team and must do their share, acting out their hope.
Advent Prayer Phrase:
Anticipation deepens within.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice:
Spend a few moments dwelling in God’s presence. Pay attention to where your heart feels drawn into prayer. What words, images, or themes in this story lead you to reflect on your own faith journey? What is God’s invitation to you this day?