The text of the sermon delivered by Rev. Kirk Moore at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Somonauk, IL on Sunday, November 28, 2010
This morning’s Bible reading is from Matthew 24:36-44
When is Jesus coming back?
No, really. Isn’t there some way to predict that it is coming soon? What about all the stuff going on in the world. Isn’t Jesus coming back really soon?
You’re not being helpful at all. What about those books that talk about all kinds of ‘end-of-the-world’ things that say that they come right out of the Bible. Isn’t Jesus bound to come back soon? I mean, the books say that it’s coming soon. When is Jesus coming back?
I dunno. Similar Bible readings to this morning’s mention earthquakes and wars suffering and famine and all kinds of nastiness being present before Jesus returns. But these things have been present throughout human history and folks have tried to say, “This is the time where the tragedies are reaching a peak – it has to be soon and very soon that Jesus is returning.” But every time someone is sure that Jesus’ return is imminent and even sometimes start making predictions that it will happen before a certain time, they’re wrong. There are a few predictions out there right now – 2012, 2022, and 2025 among others. And there will be more. But we don’t know. Really – I don’t know at all when Jesus will return. This morning’s reading says that no one knows. It says no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Yeah – I know. How can Jesus not know but God does? Aren’t they all together – Father, Son, Holy Spirit?
Yeah – They are one. They are all connected and all the same. Creator, Christ, Holy Spirit.
So how can you explain that whole “no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Stuff?
Are you saying you don’t know?
Yeah. I dunno.
Is it important to understand it all? Well, I think everyone would like to simply know exactly how things are and exactly how things are going to be and exactly what to do and exactly what not to do. But the reality is that we don’t know! We don’t know how to do everything. We don’t know how everything works out. We don’t know how to make things work well now. We dunno.
So what should we do?
This morning’s reading says to keep awake.
What do you do to keep awake when you’re drowsy?
Take a shower
Roll down the windows in your car and put the car’s climate control on the opposite of what the temperature outside is.
Splash cold water on your face
What else do you do to stay awake when you’re drowsy? (Let folks call out ideas)
Now let’s translate. How do we keep awake – alert – while not knowing when Jesus will return or ever what it will look like? How do we keep awake for the unexpected? How do we do what the main action item in today’s reading calls us to do?
Eat – Read the Bible
Exercise – Pray and act
Caffeine – Be bold in living God’s love
Shower – Stay away from things that are going to be harmful to you
That car window thing – Step out of your comfort zone
Cold water – Do something that shows your love for God and for everyone in a way that you and others notice.
(Try to translate the other things folks have said – likely fail miserably in the cleverness department.)
Keep awake by doing the things that Jesus wants you to do. Love God. Love everyone else.
When is Jesus returning? I dunno. How does one expect the unexpected? I dunno.
What should we do?
Close with prayer