Saturday, November 6, 2021



Almighty and everlasting God, always more ready to hear than we to pray and always ready to give more than we either desire or deserve, pour down on us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us the things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us the good things we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[2]

Mark 13:33–37 (ESV):  “Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.  It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake.  Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.  And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”[3]

In an age of increasing violence and sudden death heralding the last times, Christian watchful and faithful readiness is imperative. Our sinful instinct is to join crowds about us in a flight/fight response to mounting anxiety.  Desperately we might seek to flee the pain of stark fear, unrestrainedly plunging into practices of instant pleasure (misuse of drugs and alcohol, entertainment to deny grim reality, growing immorality, and sexual abuse), or we can deliberately fight and angrily resist, denying the base sin in humanity that has unleashed the deadly and destructive forces now so apparent.

 Christ exhorts us to watch and be ready for His return

How are Christians to watch?

Disciples of Jesus are to establish priorities and value systems based on their citizenship in the kingdom of God. This great and gracious gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit through Christ’s death and resurrection altered our lives and changed our perception of the world and life.

No longer driven by an accusing conscience or groaning under the burden of the Law, we are able to set aside earthly transient ambition and receive the timeless treasure of forgiveness won for us and all people by our Savior and committed to us through the Holy Spirit by faith. Thus renewed and equipped, we are able to discern accurately and comfortingly the difficult days we are traversing on our way to an eternity of joy and peace with our gracious God.

Our society has often defiled science, idealized humanity and in arrogance and self-righteousness sought to work out its own salvation. The bright hope have dimmed, ware and peace and seemingly beyond human control, and we are living in the weary hours of history.

By what means are Christians to be ready?

On the one hand, we are to examine critically and consider in the light of Scripture the full implications of modern, seemingly alluring philosophies popular in our day (new morality, situation ethics, essential goodness and competence of human beings, the totally cynical existential dogma of despair) that either promise fulfillment or actualization by our own power or plug us deeply into the Angst (pervasive anxiety) of despair and disillusionment.

We know not the hour when the Son of Man will return. Hence urgency accompanies the challenge of open door, inviting the saving Gospel and dawning hope throughout our shrinking world, we are to “’gird up our loins” and get to work for Christ. Millions languish in barren confusion, frightening violence, numbing poverty, and starvation spiritually and physically. Our Master is depending upon us; may He find us busily engaged when He comes.

Blessed are those who respond to the Savior’s call. The same Redeemer, who willingly placed His sinless body on the altar of the cross as the all-sufficient sacrifice for humanity’s sin and rose triumphantly and endow us with new life, will serve us graciously and personally, either at the hour of death or on the Last Day. He will invite us to partake of the eternal banquet Hid has prepared for u. God grant that we may be ever watchful and ready as we await joyously the coming of our heavenly King.[4]

[1] Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[2] Collect for Pentecost 12, Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

[3] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


[4] Lectionary Preaching Resources Series C © 1988 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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