MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on kids, department stores, sump pumps and the Second Coming.  What do these things have in common? Why do we care?  Are we ready? Listen to this podcast of his reflection on the readings for the 1st Sunday of Advent. Please read Matthew 24:37-44.  #GreatPreaching #Prayer #Sermons #Homilyhelper #SecondComing #SumpPump #DepartmentStore #Ready

  For MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 12/1/2013 The 1st  Sunday of Advent.

Please pause this audio and read Matthew 24:37-44.

          Maranatha! Come, Lord! Come!

          When my children were young, I used to continually count their little heads when we were in the store. On two occasions, one with my oldest and one with my third child, I counted, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” one moment and then, “1, 2, 3, 4” the next. When I could not count the fifth, my heart stopped. We scoured the store. Both times, my boys thought it was funny to play hide and seek in the middle of the round rack of clothes.

When I described the situation to my family and friends, I found myself saying, “I just turned my head for a second…”

Gone.

It was sudden. It was quick. There the child was. There he wasn’t. Whenever I see an Amber Alert or hear of a child being missing, I know that thought at one point went through the parents’ head. I know they are wishing they could go back to the moment just before the child was gone. I did and I found my children.

When we were at Church one Sunday, we came home to find that our home had been broken into. Why didn’t we have an alarm system? When we were in the middle of a storm, we realized what happens when you do not have a back up sump pump system: your basement starts to flood. After a few hours of bailing your sump with a bucket you tend to wonder, “Why were those few dollars so important that I couldn’t spend them on a back up before the flood?”

In each of these instances there is a suddenness. One second you’re good, the next you’re not. In each of the instances there is despair. One second you’re good, the next you’re not. In each of these instances there is a desire, a wish, and a hope, that you could go back and do it differently. One second you’re good, the next you’re not. One moment, my son is there. The next, he is not.

Every Sunday, we say, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead…” What does that mean as we let the words roll off our tongue? It means that Jesus will come again. It is something we are called to remember every first Sunday of Advent. We are reminded by the scriptures that we will be taken. It will be sudden. It will be final. We will know whether we have lived the life we were supposed to live, suddenly and finally. We will see what we should have done, what we did do.

This passage from the Gospel of Matthew is simple. It tells us to be prepared. It tells us that we should be living our lives like Jesus is coming in the next instant. It will be as quick as my count, “1, 2, 3, 4…where is FIVE?” It will be as final as my house which was broken into, items never to be returned, or as final as the water in my basement, or the water of the flood.

Will we be ones like Noah? Will we be ones that are left behind? When the Lord comes again, will we have been contrite and confessed our sins, repaired broken relationships, given back more than we stole, been honest in our dealings, generous with what wealth we had, and loving to those in need?

There will be some of us who are weary from the battle. We are tired of fighting off the envious, the crooked, and the perverse. We are tired of remembering our sins and weary from our failings. We are exhausted from our firm purpose of amendment staring us in the face as we realize we are confessing the same sin, different day. We have been honest and cheated, loving and rejected, sacrificing and ignored. We have been beaten up, but we are not without hope. The suddenness of the Second Coming of Jesus cannot come soon enough. Those of us in this spot, we say, “Come! Come, Lord Jesus!”

There will be some of us who look at our lives with despair. We finally see that we are not ready. We do not want the Lord to come. We want to roll back our clocks on sinner savings time: looking for another hour here, another hour there to make our amends. To us, I say, “let’s do it now. Let’s get ready now!”

There will be a day when the Lord is going to come. He will come suddently, finally and without regard for our situation in life. Will we be ready? Make a plan. Confess your sins. Make amends. Be ready now. Amen? Amen.

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