Mark 13:24-37

Sunday afternoon naps have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a pastors kid, we were highly encouraged to join Dad, as he took his post liturgical nap.  Now our naps were less about sleep I think, than not getting into trouble whilst our parents snoozed.  My naps these days don’t always happen, mostly because we have dogs… this is a picture of Freyja and Kirsebær who were wide awake and very interested in keeping me awake as well!

Not sleeping I reflected on this morning at worship. The reading from Mark is the first Gospel passage for us this Advent. For those folks who want Christmas to be here already, this is a jarring passage… The return of the “Son of Man” is not a light and jolly seasonal presentation.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” I am pretty sure this phrase is nowhere to be found in any Hallmark store. But as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas we also prepare for his return and the culmination of God’s promise for all.

As we await his return, Jesus advice it to keep awake!

No, he isn’t encouraging sleep deprivation for his followers, rather he is calling us to pay attention because he is coming among us already, every day…

That observation came via my Associate Pastor Dom who preached his final sermon as a pastor at St. John. It was a good one, shoot he’s a good one. These last five years have been a real blessing.  As he prepares to leave, I find myself reflecting on all the ways that he has grown, helped me grow and a been a blessing for this congregation. Today’s sermon was no exception.

As I reflected on all of this, I realized that today Jesus was found in the morning, in the midst of Pastor Dom’s final sermon. Jesus will continue to come to the people of St. John and the people of Gloria Dei in Crestview Hill’s Kentucky and in churches, homes and where ever two or three are gathered in his name.  Jesus comes over and over again to us and fills us with his grace, mercy, and forgiveness so that we might be ready, awake and prepared to bring and be good news to those who also await the Advent of God in their lives.

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